In this weekly Media Literacy Digest, open education and connectivism advocate George Siemens, brings to you a great set of news stories on emerging media, communication technologies and education-related trends and how these directly impact your daily lives.
Photo credit: Michael Brown
Inside this Media Literacy Digest:
learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends
by George Siemens
If you have spent time in higher education, you are likely aware that the only team that exists is between a prof and the students involved in her research interests. Higher education research is a highly individualistic endeavour (note, for example, the "Principal Investigator" status on grants). It would be more accurate to say that scientists now treat experiments as networked.
From the article:
"Around the world, scientists are cutting across boundaries of place, organization and technical specialty to conduct ever more ambitious experiments. Inspired by such cooperative enterprises as Linux and Wikipedia, they are encouraging creative collaborations through networks of blogs, wikis, shared databases and crowd-sourcing.
Once a mostly solitary endeavour, science in the 21st century has become a team sport. Research collaborations are larger, more common, more widely cited and more influential than ever, management studies show."
University of Oslo has posted a video recording of my talk last week on Directions in Education and Learning.
If you would like to get up to speed fairly quickly with the state of Stephen Downes' thinking on education, technology, and learning, have a listen to his presentation on New Tools for Personal Learning - slides and audio are available.
I am surprised at the resiliency of concepts (complexity, ecology, mesh networks, connectivism, etc) that the edutech network has been fleshing out over the last decade. To me, it is an indication that we are moving in the right direction…
The introduction to the discussion states:
"As the educational and cultural climate changes in response to new technologies for creating and sharing information, educators have begun to ask if the current framework for assessing student work, standardized testing, and grading is incompatible with the way these students should be learning and the skills they need to acquire to compete in the information age."
Grading is a waste of time. We only do it in schools and universities. It is a sorting technique, not truly an evaluation technique. Iterative and formative feedback is what is really required for learning. This is achieved through active engagement with and contribution to networks of learners.
How did educators evaluate competency before grading? Sustained participation and engagement with networks of learners and educators. But, of course, the authors of the HASTAC post are not trying to do away with grading (as I would suggest we should). They are trying to use technology to make grading more "modern" or "in line" with society's needs today. I think that is exactly the wrong way to go about it. Question the model, do not modernize it.
During our LearnTrends conference last week, I experimented with the Cormier Live Slides method. Dave would say I went a bit soft - I had an established structure for the slides, instead of free flowing. However, it did generate a fair bit of discussion and contributions from the audience.
While I am a huge fan of openness, personal choice, democracy, and rights of individuals, a brief run through YouTube comments or a typical Twitter conversation calls into question the ideal that humanity aspires to the greater good.
In order for democracy to flourish, appropriate constraints are required. Danah Boyd shares her painful experience in using a back channel during a conference. I posted on a similar back channel issue recently, arguing that speakers need to accept the reality that audiences now speak back. However, effective feedback should not be mob-like… and it certainly should be respectful.
About George Siemens
From late 2009, George Siemens holds a position at the the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute in Athabasca University. He was former Associate Director in the Learning Technologies Centre at the University of Manitoba. George blogs at www.elearnspace.org where he shares his vision on the educational landscape and the impact that media technologies have on the educational system. George Siemens is also the author of Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age and the book "Knowing Knowledge" where he developes a learning theory called connectivism which uses a network as the central metaphor for learning and focuses on knowledge as a way to making connections.
George Siemens -
More Scientists Treat Experiments As a Team Sport - Eugene Bochkarev
Video Recording: Learning 2020 - Andrey Zyk
New Tools For Personal Learning - Stephen Downes
Grading 2.0: Evaluation In The Digital Age - Graça Victoria
Connecting With Others… - Liv Friis-Larsen
Danah Boyd, Back Channel, Tocqueville - Zephoria