May 26, 2010
I’ve been following Wendy Drexler for a while, but just took the time this morning to pull together a few of her resources that are relevant to the concept of the PLN/PLE that’s been put forth for ISWO learners I’ve been “connecting” with. These ideas are valuable throughout education.
The first video is from a couple of years ago, and presents a vision of the connected learner. One comment on the YouTube site was that it would be useful to dig deeper and explore the gaps in this idea.
This has happened.
The next video is about a year later when a Grade 7 student has “lived it”. You’ll notice there are some gaps – the student hasn’t received the expert feedback yet, etc. This link will take you to it:
Finally, Drexler’s scholarly article on the topic:
Here’s a quote focusing on the role of the teacher in this:
“A student’s success depended upon his or her motivation but also greatly on the strategic guidance of the teacher. The teacher’s ability to gauge students’ understanding and progress were key to achieving a balance between student autonomy and teacher intervention.”
May 17, 2010
It is getting close to the publication date for “Emerging Technologies in Distance Education” (edited by George Veletsianos and including a chapter I’ve written with my colleague BJ Eib) so I went to George’s blog to see if he had any updates regarding whether June was still the target date. What I found was a really interesting conversation that shows that even blog posts that are seven or eight months old can spring to life with new comments.
In this case, it is some back and forth related to an early posting of the draft conclusions from the book — generally on the topic of balance…. while we celebrate the emerging technologies in Distance Ed, “we should also remain cognizant of the fact that resistance and failures are possible, and, if documented in the literature, helpful.”
I’m really looking forward to seeing the kinds of conversations that emerge once the complete book is available. My understanding is that it will, like others in the Terry Anderson series, be freely available for download and also available for purchase in print. With this kind of accessibility, I expect that the book will be discussed by a few of the folks in my Personal Learning Network (I follow a lot of wonderful educators on Twitter, for example) and it could be an opportunity for lots of new ideas to bubble forth.
http://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120177 is the Athabasca University link to the information currently available about this book.
May 11, 2010
Today’s #edchat (via Twitter) is on the topic: What are we, as educators, doing to promote creativity in our schools?
So, because I am such a fan of Sir Ken Robinson, I wanted to be sure that I had something to contribute to #edchat that related to him. I’ll be tweeting the link to this posting, which in turn has the following link to information about a Video of Sir Ken talking about his book “The Element” that may not be as well known as his TED talk but is certainly worth watching for anyone who’s interested in fostering creativity in education (at any level).
And, bonus, my search for new links related to Sir Ken led me to a blogger that I find to be kind of a kindred spirit. She’s Director of Board Governance at the Wisconsin Association of School Boards and she’s posted ideas like:
“Adaptive challenges require that people with the problem are part of the solution…” and “Today’s leaders do not solve problems for people. Instead, they provide opportunities for people to confront challenges and learn new methods”
Here’s her blog link:
May 3, 2010
For the next month or so, I’m taking the role of ‘blog steward’ to a group of learners at Royal Roads University (RRU) in a course called ISWO (Instructional Skills Workshop Online) so my postings here for the next while may tend to relate to issues that come up in that environment.
RRU is relatively young and has always had a learning model emphasizing team-based online learning. So it’s no surprise that enhancing the skills for developing a supportive and connected online learning community is an important learning outcome for ISWO.
I’m very aware of how the online community has blossomed over the past few years with web 2.0 and I thought I’d share a recent article that explores this.
Ruth Reynard’s view at
includes the following statement.
“The challenge this time is that facilitation is not enough–the challenge for the future of instruction is that we stand side-by-side with our students and all contribute equally and actively to a learning community. The learning community is also redefined as not confined to one class but open to anyone who connects.”
So — Open it is! And here I am, partnering with the designated instructors and learners in ISWO and inviting them (and others) to ponder over the ways that such partnerships might enhance learning.