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Heard/read in Week 6

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Stephen Downes: A World to Change. This week I am in week five of an online course called PLENK, which I'm offering with three colleagues in the research community here in Canada.

Stephen Downes: A World to Change

As we reach the midpoint of the course, enrollment has just passed 1500 student mark. The discussions are reasonably active, we're aggregating 227 student blogs, 1340 of them are reading the daily newsletter, and the tweet count has just passed 1701. We're not the first people in the world to offer an online course, of course. Nor is this the largest online course ever offered -- it doesn't even match our own record of 2200 participants, which we reached in 2008 with Connectivism and Connective Knowledge, much less the other online courses that have been offered over the years. PLENK -- Personal Learning Environments, Networks and Knowledge -- is about an emerging online learning technology called the personal learning environment, or PLE.

René Descartes. Descartes laid the foundation for 17th-century continental rationalism, later advocated by Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Leibniz, and opposed by the empiricist school of thought consisting of Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume.

René Descartes

Leibniz, Spinoza and Descartes were all well versed in mathematics as well as philosophy, and Descartes and Leibniz contributed greatly to science as well. His best known philosophical statement is "Cogito ergo sum" (French: Je pense, donc je suis; I think, therefore I am), found in part IV of Discourse on the Method (1637 – written in French but with inclusion of "Cogito ergo sum") and §7 of part I of Principles of Philosophy (1644 – written in Latin).

Early life[edit] Descartes was born in La Haye en Touraine (now Descartes), Indre-et-Loire, France. Steam Aged Education #PLENK2010. The #PLENK2010 session today was about learning theories and employed a few allusions to the age of steam power.

Steam Aged Education #PLENK2010

I like the analogies to the history of technology. Like the examples from the development of the printing press, examples of societal responses to steam technology can be instructive respecting the response to information and communication technology. Many institutional education activities are throwbacks or hold outs from an earlier era. Remnants of the industrial era that preceded this information era. Still people try to squeeze current experiences with learning into an older industrial model. New Media Literacy In Education: Learning Media Use While Developing Critical Thinking Skills. Vision of the Future - Part 1 by Howard Rheingold My interest in this subject has always been very personal.

New Media Literacy In Education: Learning Media Use While Developing Critical Thinking Skills

And I want to start by emphasizing that the use of online communication for socializing by young people is nothing new. New media literacy: what is it? « Cruiselyna's Blog. A Plethora of Personal Learning Environment Distinctions #plenk2010 - PLE's, networks, knowledge & me. Dave?s Educational Blog. My PLE model is the internet – no more system for me @ Dave’s Educational Blog. I had hoped to get this post out last week, but the dissaggregation 2 post came out instead and here I am in the middle of week six trying to combine a post that addresses both evaluation and success… and then i realized… that kinda makes sense.

My PLE model is the internet – no more system for me @ Dave’s Educational Blog

The problem with creating an evaluation model for a PLE is that it will inevitably have a strong impact on the success of the PLE. If the PLE is essentially about emancipation (which Scott Leslie tells me everyone believes in the comments of the previous blog post) then the scaffolding applied to allow for evaluation seems like the other end of the counterbalance. This post is as much a simple reflection on my own practice… I hope you find it useful. Formal learners have the best of both worlds? Thanks Dave, your post has finally made me put my fingers on the key board to write the post that I have been thinking about for the past days.

Formal learners have the best of both worlds?

You start with where most discussions on the PLE originate, in an opposition to the institutionally controlled LMS. To me it seems more helpful not to take the technologies as the central point of discussion, but the forms of learning: formal (as in institutions) and informal (as on open online networks). The idea I liked most to move from formal towards informal learning comes from Ivan Illich, who would like to rid us of ‘scholastic funnels ‘(1992) and instead create ‘community webs’ .He would like people to be able to call on the teacher or peers of their choice, teach if they feel they have something meaningful to say and call meetings to share resources whenever possible (1971).

How To Be Heard. MS-Word version, for printing Every man is the hero of his own story - Dylan Hunt Writing a blog can be a lonely business.

How To Be Heard

How many blogs have been started to languish with no readers day after day, week after week? Others, seemingly inexplicably, attract thousands of readers, hundreds of links. What's the difference between them? The short answer is, partially, yes. This guide will help you change that. Plan It is possible to launch a blog without a plan. FINAL Top 100 Tools for Learning 2010. Dynamic learning maps. The project has now completed. The final report is available from the bottom of the page. Dynamic Learning Maps Navigable Dynamic Learning Maps will be developed and evaluated to assist students and staff in actively mapping learning by drawing on formal curricular and personalised learning records, supported by easy-to use facilities to add and rate resources, and tools to support discussion and reflection.

These maps will fuse both “semantic web” and, “Web 2.0” approaches, building on established technologies and standards to provide “mash-ups” of resources and curriculum information (managed learning environments) and personal learning records (ePortfolios/blogs). Reading: keeping on top of stuff I save at Helpful Technology: Blog. Neil struck a chord with me a while ago in a post about his iPhone apps, where he described Instapaper, for him, as the place ‘where saved webpages go to die’.

Reading: keeping on top of stuff I save at Helpful Technology: Blog

Like a lot of people, I use services like Google Reader, Twitter, Delicious and Instapaper to help me find and store interesting links to articles, tools, apps or whatever. Personally, when I don’t have time to read it right now, I tend to star an item in Google Reader, ‘favourite’ it in Twitter, or mark it to ‘Read later’ in Instapaper – often five or ten things a day.

I also save interesting stuff to Delicious, particularly where I think it may have longer term usefulness. But I hardly ever actually go back and read those things. Mainly it’s because it’s a bit of a faff finding the links, and because the time I’d get to do it (on the train, hanging around waiting for a toddler to wake up, etc) I’ve generally only got an iPhone to hand. Hence Reading. Here’s what it looks like in a desktop browser: