My First MOOC – CCK11 – Connectivism and Connected Knowledge

This week I began to participate in my very first MOOC.  A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course.  So, why am I doing this MOOC?  I want to  expand how I connect and network with others.  In addition,  I am interested in learning more about the theory of connectivism and networked learning with participants and the course facilitators,  Stephen Downes and George Siemens.

For me, this MOOC, CCK11 will offer me the opportunity to continue my stance in the journey of lifelong learning in a very new and different way. I will begin to negogiate and navigate my way through this course, expanding  flows of new knowledge through the use of technology in an open yet paced way.  As I begin to orient myself to the course and digest the readings, I  underline that learning is social, contextual and complex.  I was encouraged by George’s words when he suggested that “confusion is a good thing” and I’m certainly figuring out my role and how I will engage in this course.

I look forward to my learning ecosystem evolving as I network with course participants. Stephen Downes shares with us that “Knowledge is a set of connections.  A mind is a learning thing.  A computer is a learning thing and society is a learning thing.”

In today’s digital world, learning is powerful when:

  • it is open, flexible and connected
  • it builds networks of information, contacts and resources creating growth and development in the mind
  • it is participatory, networked and builds in choice and personalization
  • it maximizes the use of technology and tools

Learner control and freedom is integral to 21stCentury lifelong education and learning.  As an educator, my goal is to grow my thinking and understanding of being a connected learner.

A question I have:
How do we create responsive and connected  K-12 learning models that encourages lifelong learning in today’s networked world?

I look forward to connecting and growing over the next weeks.


TedxOntarioED Event – Amazing!

I’m sitting here at home, peacefully by myself, with a very busy mind still reeling from last night’s AMAZING TedxOntarioEd event in London, Ontario!  It was so inspiring and magical as each speaker shared their thoughts and stories of how they live in “The Element”.  I was in awe of the speakers and yet felt very comfortable with their talks as I can relate to their sense of passion and share their sense of commitment to learning and making a difference in our world.   I can say that I am inspired and motivated to be more true.  Be more true to my passion and purpose as I learn with everyone.

Here are some captured themes / thoughts from the some of speakers:

How doing the impossible and sharing it with others motivates, teaches and inspires. Ray Zhab from Impossible2Possible.

Lee LeFever of Commoncraft talks about what it takes to be a good explainer.  Take something complex and make it easy to understand.  Three steps:  build connections, adjust to the curse of knowledge and make it memorable.

Joel Savoy talked to us about how students are empowered to own the messages  in their classrooms, school and community creating voice and community through  LINC – Local International National Classroom.

It all started for Zoe Branigan-Pipe with her mom in both family and teaching life instilling in her the importance of being connected, socially aware and active.  Zoe carries on the tradition in the 21st century with social networking in her classroom.  Both generations whether it having been onground and now online fostering global thinkers in their classrooms who are active participants in their learning.

Tim Long, creator of the Simpsons, makes the distinction  between hard work and productive work.  Schools focus too much on hard work to the detriment of motivation.

TED Video:  Alex Ohanian from Reddit  shares how the internet creates a level playing field and costs nothing.  Go for it and lose control.

Learning together is fun and leads to lots of amazing things. with Nathan Toft & Jane Smith.

Jesse Brown, host of TVO’s Search Engine speaks about how constant imagery in the 70s and 80s, 90s to today = the importance of visual literacy for the 21st century.  Let students speak with pictures and see that they have alot to say.

The focus for Danika Barker is using NING.  She believes it is imperative to find ways for students to express themselves in the way that express themselves outside of the classroom. Using social networking as “trickery” to engage students in their learning.

Alec Couros shares how schools today must keep the learning open and use technology, social networking to create that openness.

Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose are necessary for people to be engaged in their work.  Satisfaction and Motivation are powerful allies in our thirst for ongoing learning and collaboration.  Kathy Hibbert & the Salty Chip.

Tim Ludwig – The Student ended the evening with a compelling and passionate message about how not all students are the same.  The room was riveted  by his key messages:  let us speak and listen to students like me, make learning relevant, get to know us as we are intelligent, real and caring people who want to learn.

List of Speakers

Evolution of a Friendship

My thoughts today are about how a friend of mine shared with me for the first time this week via e-mail a suggested web 2.0 tool!  He’s a tech friend who I call ” the fixer.”  We normally only connect on the hardware /  systems front.   We also connect on the 911 front  – only when I call!   Our networking and sharing (mostly my learning from him) involves discussion re: firewalls, server design, disaster recovery plan, system integrity and so on.  I was delighted that our friendship and learning has moved to another level.  You see,  Len recommended Dropbox to me.   Yeah, Len!

Web 2.0 and collaboration does bring people together even when they have been friends already for sometime.


Looking forward to the upcoming TEDxOntarioEd event?

If you are anywhere near Hamilton Area and would like to join other like minded individuals for an evening of fun, learning and networking
join the TEDxOntario Satellite Hamilton Location.

This event is being HOSTED by Aviva Dunsiger
at: Ancaster Meadow School (93 Kitty Murray Lane, Ancaster, Ontario).