Sunday, October 2, 2011

Complexity, self-organization, #Change11 etc

 Even if not specifically designated as such, thoughts on navigating chaos, an ongoing Multiliteracies consideration, shine through. Besides relevance, this sharing-as-post gives me the opportunity to a) post by email to posterous; b) autopost to CLW; c) get in the habit of using Diggo features; d) comply with MOOC tool building mission, even modest tools with less bling and glitz (and thankfully requiring less bandwidth); e) participate; f) contribute, however modestly, to artifact creation; g) and surely more


Complexity, self-organization, and #Change11: reactions to Siemen's presentation on online courses - michael sean gallagher

    • presentation from George Siemens on Self-Organization in Online Courses (embedded below) that addressed some aspects of learning complexity (through the context of a MOOC)
      • we need to sift through the chaos to create signal, perhaps even a pattern language
        • I liken this process to language itself and the alphabet. The alphabet developed to take a series of meanings and weld it to one symbol (a process more pronounced in Chinese and ancient Egyptian perhaps) that everyone might recognize and accept.
          • It reduces the complexity, yes, but more importantly it provides a starting point for a common process. Without it, we would be lost in theory. 
            • The same holds for learning to some degree. We look for structure, but if none exists on sight, we combine things until some structure emerges. That structure can be represented in a single symbol, but its foundation might shift as new understanding emerges. Occasionally, there is need to ditch the symbols or invent a new one altogether as emerging learning dictates. That is a healthy and complicated process. The MOOC captures this process a bit and adheres to an open structure to allow pattern language to emerge, a shared vocabulary, a knowledge construct (however ephemeral).
              • Feedback as friction as forces interact. A spark, a collision, waste, and occasionally a nova. A big (learning) bang. This makes me think a learner's responsibility (among many others) is to be open to this collision of actors, agents, feedback, waste, noise, and then, ideally, pattern, understanding. The only way out is through.
                • Disturbing- an ontological disturbance, an unknown, an uncanny sense of veering through uncharted, potentially treacherous waters. It is a good place to be as a learner, but it requires a strength and confidence that only an empowered learner could put forth. But in that disturbance, that mess, there is the friction, that meat-grinder of understanding.
                  • This is learning as curiosity and sometimes it can be quite scary. 
                    • Often we seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge (anyone subjected to my endless banal history lessons will understand this), but I do believe that most learning is action oriented. To learn not only to get a job, to live in a world, to subsist, but rather for acting as best as we can. For improvement, for progress, for self-actualization.
                      • self-actualization (the development of self) can only be realized through sharing, group interaction
                        • disaggregated, emotive, functional machine of interaction. One that has to be tinkered with constantly. 

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