Connectivist Enterprises

I wrote this in 2011 but it seems almost current in terms of relevance. Some links may not work. Introduction Education has morphed across centuries of foundational thought and practice on what is learning, teaching and knowledge. Whether they are ancient practices and beliefs like in the Vedas or are contemporary like Connectivism, the landscape... Continue Reading →

The Digital Isolation of Classrooms

Our classrooms are digitally isolated by their very design. It is a distortion of our bureaucratic education systems wherein, on the one hand, grade levels are broken down into separate groups/classrooms, insulated from each other, while each group is encouraged (or mostly not) to independently interact with the outside world. As a result, students learning... Continue Reading →

Imagining another future: Teacher Cooperatives

Let us for a moment imagine a future where schools are run by teachers' cooperatives. That is, instead of an administrative and financial superstructure of wealthy philanthropists or businesspersons or trusts, political muscle, non-academic leadership and all the trappings of modern world schools, teachers would cooperate to teach, learn and administer the school. The Amul... Continue Reading →

#rhizo15 Week Two – Counting networks

A rather belated post on #rhizo15 week 2! How do we count or measure learning in our networks or learning rhizomatically? How do we begin to "grade Dave"? "Counting" evolution of our learning networks is very important. How does a network or community form? When does it acquire critical "mass" of conversation? How does it... Continue Reading →

Is the classroom a machine?

In a Big Think article, Why Technology Won't Save an Inefficient Education System, with Dr. Madhav Chavan, and in several other similarly argued contributions, particularly like the ones from Sir Ken Robinson (read a critique here) or Sugata Mitra. Education over that past 200 years has been fashioned like an assembly line. Children get placed... Continue Reading →

Faculty shortage or learner shortage?

People keep on going on about there being so much shortage of good quality faculty. That, they bemoan, is the most important factor behind the problems that we face in K12 or Higher Ed today. It is definitely true to an extent.I believe the bigger challenge is to find learners. Not students. But learners. Or... Continue Reading →

On Teacher’s Day

There is a teacher in everyone of us. It is useful to acknowledge that a whole lot of things are learnt without someone actually teaching us, and that perhaps someone is right now learning from us without our even knowing it. On the Internet, this is possible at a very large scale. We learn from... Continue Reading →

The hard problems in eLearning

There are some key challenges that we are facing in eLearning today. And I am beginning to think that these are pretty much invariant to scale. I am beginning to think that perhaps many of them happen at smaller scale in traditional face-to-face education. Here is an indicative list. High dropout or low completion rates... Continue Reading →

MOOCs are ecologies not episodes

There are two ways one could think of the life-cycle of a MOOC. MOOCs could be thought of as one-time and episodic. They could also be thought of as ecologies, sites or environments for continual learning (for example, a series of MOOCs on the same topics, such as CCK), not use-once-and-throw episodes of learning. I... Continue Reading →

The Outcomes of our Educational Systems

Does a particular type of education system tend to produce the same outcome irrespective of the underlying environment? Or is it that the underlying social, economic and political environment will cause pretty much any educational system to tend to produce the same outcomes? Or is it that the outcomes emerge as a result of the... Continue Reading →

MOOCs are not books

A startling post by Bernard Fryshman - Books Are MOOCs, Too, leaves me with conflicting thoughts. If he is talking about xMOOCs, I could perhaps agree to a level. If he is talking about cMOOCs, I couldn't disagree more! Bernard makes the points that books are mobile, ubiquitous, accessible, excellent supplementary material for your degree... Continue Reading →

Offline Connectivism

In 2008, when discussing the critical role of technology in the existence of a Connectivist learning environment, Stephen commented:Take the steam engine, for example. It works through a process of burning coal to heat water, which turns to steam, which it then fed through a turbine or engine in order to produce power.You need quite... Continue Reading →

Confused MOOCThink

I came across an article by the progenitors of #EDCMOOC on their initial thinking around MOOC pedagogy (MOOC pedagogy: the challenges of developing for Coursera). Riding on the Coursera engagement with the University of Edinburgh, the team designing the eLearning and Digital Cultures MOOC on the Coursera platform (that I missed enrolling for, though) was... Continue Reading →

MOOCology

The discussion on what is a MOOC or how do we classify MOOCs is gaining momentum. First we had George explaining the difference by saying that there are xMOOCs and cMOOCs. Now Lisa Lane has come with a different taxonomy (network/task/content based) with some interesting distinctions. Dominic came up his own understanding of the "features" of a MOOC.... Continue Reading →

MOOC Dropouts

Audrey is grumpy and unhappy about the massive dropout rate vs. the hype of the open courses. She writes: I’m starting to get more than a little grumpy about MOOCs, what with all the hype about the revolutionary disruptions and game-changing tsunamis. I’m tired of the mainstream media punditry and their predictions that Stanford University’s experiments... Continue Reading →

My life is a MOOC

I have been meaning to catch up with the interesting discussion happening around MOOCs. I believe that there will be and should be plurality of approaches and intentions - they are the inevitable accompaniment to change itself. The top tensions in the conversation are: How do MOOCs compare with other initiatives like the Stanford AI? Should... Continue Reading →

Is Content King?

Inundated by familiar arguments regarding open content, debates on re-use, freemium business models for open content publishers, moral and economic arguments for open textbooks and so on, by David Wiley at #Change11, I can't help but ask - Is Content King? Content is king for publishers, authors and institutions in the educational context. This is... Continue Reading →

Epistemic Games

Clark Quinn pointed me to the work of David Williamson Shaffer and the work around Epistemic Games, the site provocatively taglined Building the Future of Education. Defined: Epistemic games are computer games that can help players learn to think like engineers, urban planners, journalists, lawyers, and other innovative professionals, giving them the tools they need... Continue Reading →

Learning Histories

What happens to learning histories? Traditionally, in the school or college system, we treat textbooks and references built by experts as the starting point of our education. Students are encouraged to discover through the texts and teacher led activities. However, from one group of students to the other, from one year to the other, it... Continue Reading →

MOOC, DIY-U and Edupunk

I was reading with interest Stephen Downes' critique of Anya Kamenetz's approach in her book DIY-U. I am reading Anya's book, but could not help writing this post, even though that exercise is incomplete, so I beg your indulgence. The point Stephen is making is definitely not just academic. The term DIY (do-it-yourself) affords primacy... Continue Reading →

Learning Styles and Learning

When I was building up the story for LearnOS, in my mind I had a mathematical model for how a complex of factors, assessed through various instruments (psychometric, inventories, observable analytics), could result in heuristics not only for content presentation, but also for collaboration, tools usage and learning process design. A Learning Weights Matrix mapped... Continue Reading →

Learning and Chaos

Found an interesting article after talking with an expert in Chaos theory. JoAnn discusses possible impacts of Chaos theory on classroom learning using systems, initial effects, bifurcations and fractals. She also explores existing theory in relation to chaotic systems for learning. Essentially, the point that needs to be explored is whether learning is linear, deterministic and predictable... Continue Reading →

Centenary Post

For my hundredth post, I would like to focus on a few key questions that attack various aspects of what I have experienced and learnt in the past two years. These questions are extremely important for me to attempt to answer and I hopefully will, atleast in part, as I go on. The questions may... Continue Reading →

3 Idiots: Educational Pedagogy or Fantasy

In case you didn't know, 3 Idiots is now a record-breaking Hindi movie, that explores and exposes the educational system. As of the time of this post, it has been released worldwide and is the highest grosser in Indian cinema history (about US$68mn in 19 days and also made 43 million pounds worldwide to date). The movie... Continue Reading →

Networked Learning Environments

So are LMSs now part of a technology trend that is headed south? Will incorporation of Web 2.0 features make them more enticing? Will learning really become more effective if Web 2.0 happens to these LMSs? Will they start working on a networked learning SCORM advanced API soon, maybe by defining standard runtime Web 2.0 interactions... Continue Reading →

Connectivist Ecologies

What inherently constitutes a connectivist learning ecology? What specifically differentiates it from a collaborative, Web 2.0 or informal learning enabled learning environment? Was the CCK08 course representative of the Connectivist learning ecology? Lisa Lane wrote a list of recommendations on the CCK08 experience. Bradley Shoebottom has devised his own structure. I proposed the concept of Network... Continue Reading →

PLEs – antithetical to the current education system?

I read a series of contributions by Stephen, George, Pontydysgu, Attwell, and reviewed PLE diagrams and Wiki entries. George makes the point that PLEs are antithetical to existing educational systems, which are really  structures of power, accountability and control based in a sociological context, not focussed on learner needs and goals. For this reason, PLEs, which are... Continue Reading →

Network based Training (NBTs)

I have written earlier about what I am proposing as the evolution from the CBT and WBT - the NBT or Network based training, for some time now. NBTs provide a framework for organizations who want to adopt Web 2.0 and networked learning (the connectivism way) in their systems. The main components of the NBT... Continue Reading →

Connectivism and social action

In the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, I have witnessed in graphic detail the many aspects of socio-political crisis. On one hand, there is the actual terror and consequent military action. On the other is the political shakeout because of mass opinion that reflected in the local elections and change of power positions in... Continue Reading →

CCK08: Patterns

Let us assume for a moment that all I really know in the world is the following: The set of integers The operator + The results of addition of two identical numbers, 2 with 2 any number of times Or, 2+2=4. Now I can use this knowledge to recognize and solve certain similar equations: 2+4=2+2+2=6... Continue Reading →

CCK08 Week 2

End of week two of the "course" and I think I have come some way. While Week 1 was about Connectivism and the changing face of the web at an introductory level exposing me to some interesting ideas and getting me acclimatised to a massively online course, Week 2 has been the process of getting my... Continue Reading →

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