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TLT Knowledge Log

Archive for February, 2007

Informal Learning

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on February 15, 2007

As I’ve been working on my studies in Teaching, Technology I have been influenced by many current thinkers/theorists. Jay Cross and informal learning were among the first I read seriously. I found that I had adopted the term quite easily, as a description and an explanation of what I was experiencing

Jay’s recent commentary:

Stephen hopped in with a lengthy critique saying, among other things, “If there is anything to the theory of informal learning, then the values it expresses are more than just preferences on a sliding scale.” I’m not a philosopher, but this seems like telling the Ferrari dealer I’d like a red one, only to be told there’s more to a Ferrari than its color. No joke. If a Ferrari were merely wheels, speed, color, and so on, a Toyota would suffice.

Saying Ferraris come in a choice of colors (I saw a green one a couple of days ago) does not denigrate the mystique, aura, beauty, and utter Ferrari-ness of the car. But I digress. I’ve suggested to Stephen that we converse on the subject, record it, put it on the web, and see if it advances understanding.

When people disagree, I want to understand where they’re coming from. I’m on a quest to make organizations more effective and workers more fulfilled and happy in their lives. Since hearing David Cooperrider in New York last month, I’ve tried to adopt his stance that you get a lot further building on strengths than sorting through problems. I’ll address my critics when Epson and others stop making it hard to get through the day. I’m busy at the moment. Customers come first, academic argument later.

Let’s think of ways to air these issues in public. They are important. At Training 2007? At the Guild’s Annual Gathering? In an online gathering? I’m always up for honest dialog. What we’re addressing, such things as knowledge work, learning as co-creation, more self-service, taking advantage of network effects, learning with both sides of the brain, and giving people the freedom to do what’s right is a gut-wrenching change from the status quo. Some see a job threat; others, a career opportunity.

I encourage those joining the debate to do their homework — by looking further than one blog post to support their take on things. Let’s go beyond knee-jerk reactions.

I say… let’s do it. Let’s organize another online conference… a la the Online Connectivism Conference… The more the academic dialog and discourse flourishes the better for all!

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Bloom’s Taxonomy

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on February 14, 2007

Jeff at U Tech Tips has an interesting post regarding the applicability of Bloom’s taxonomy to the new learning environment. I will be exploring that in more detail in a subsequent posting.

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Personal Learning Environments

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on February 14, 2007

One person’s perspective…

 I my research for a presentation I’m giving that will attempt to engage the audience in the personal learning network experience I found this video which discusses PLEs in a contects that is very similar to my own!

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Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on February 14, 2007

I know branding and marketing are important. As I think about how the “web 2.0” tools are being branded and venture capital dollars waved around I worry… I had been thinking about that as part of a presentation I’m doing, when I came across this article on Go2Web20.net… My first trip there was enough to make my head spin. I’ll think about it more tomorrow….

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Being Connectivised

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on February 13, 2007

the elearning 2.0 bloggers in germany described the experience of participating in the OCC as feeling connectivised… I cannot agree more… and would like to thank those who feel like connectivised friends for posting all of the google video… I will be linking to more and more of it here… and I’d love to know… how’d you do that??

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More on Zoho

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on February 13, 2007

I have been posting in the systemsthinking blog about why I like Zoho (to encourage my classmates to try it out!). I’ve also demonstrated, on that site, some of the problems I have with Zoho for academic writing. I’m getting ready to try the plug in (but first I have to do a big presentation on Saturday! After that I’ll have time!)

Things I would love to see: workflow that conforms to academic writing, direct connection to a reference site (such as Zotero or RefWorks, though I am a heavy user of EndNote myself) and the abililty to easily format to research styles. I know online journals don’t necessarily require this discipline, but I think of it as important part of my academic and scholarly discipline and it certainly would be a roadblock to teachers trying to use Zoho for academic writing.

Anyway… I believe these folks are really doing a great job. And Raju… let me know if you need testers or supporters for this effort! I’m more than willing, particularly for higher education applications!

Here’s the cool video…

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Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on February 12, 2007


Clarence at Remote Access speaks about Carmun in a posting today. I have mixed feelings about this, but my Fielding colleagues have set up an Educational Leadership and Change group… so we’ll see!

I’m wondering why I have mixed feelings and am beginning to think it’s my paradigm shifting….

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Adult Learners and informal learning through social networks

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on February 12, 2007

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Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on February 8, 2007

I have enjoyed participating in the Online Connectivism Conference over the past few days. Today’s critique of connectivism as a learning theory was really quite engaging… despite the occasional outages on the Australia end. George Siemens is to be commended not only for orchestrating this conference so hundreds could participate from around the world (and participate they have… along with providing technical support and resources). And, he’s to be commended for continuing to engage in the dialog to help refine the theory and approach.

Earlier in this blog I criticized — or at least questioned — the over use of words that didn’t really convey meaning outside of a “small circle” or community of practice. Connectivism was one of the words I challenged. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to engage in these conversations and become more informed.

I have been thinking about the evolution of the educational experience… those of us involved in “online” learning quickly understood that the role of teacher changed from “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side”… that is, if we thought about the changing dynamic of hte learning environment.

Now, as someone who has left teaching to become a student, I think alot about the barriers (a convoluted IRB process being my current pet peeve) as well as the boundaries (do I really just think about systems theory from 7:30-9:30 every other Thursday?) that have been part of the education system.

Might we start thinking about distributed, networked LEARNING as boundary-less and barrier-less. My current wonder is how Bloom and Gardiner might adjust their models in this new environment and how that might help change the power structure of the classroom.

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Personal Learning Practice

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on February 5, 2007

Will Richardson’s comments about Personal Learning Practice ask two questions… how am I building my network for learning? how am I modeling my learning?

Teachers need to be different kinds of learners in order to understand the connective learning process and to become a better teacher. Teacher as Learner….

Will’s Elluminate presentation is on the OCC Video Presentations page

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