Learn Yourself

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Slides for presentation to the SMOOT conference, Finland, November 21, 2007. Please see http://www.downes.ca/presentation/171 for other media.

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Learn Yourself

  1. 1. Learn Yourself Stephen Downes November 21, 2007 SMOOT
  2. 2. Learning… <ul><li>Two major aspects: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ knowledge’ is to be organized in a certain way - ‘knowing’ is like ‘recognizing’, ie., pattern matching </li></ul>
  3. 3. Connectivism <ul><li>The theory that knowledge and learning can be described and explained using network principles </li></ul><ul><li>‘learning’ is not to acquire a set of facts, but rather, to develop or ‘grow’ into a certain neural configuration </li></ul>
  4. 4. Connectivist Learning theory <ul><li>Based on principles of associationism </li></ul><ul><li>Four major ways to learn: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple (Hebbian) associationism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accidental association (by proximity) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Back-Propagation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boltzmann learning </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Connectivist Pedagogy <ul><li>To ‘teach’ is to model and demonstrate </li></ul><ul><li>To ‘learn’ is to practice and reflect </li></ul><ul><li>Both imply participation in what might be called ‘an authentic community of practice’ </li></ul>
  6. 6. Role of the teacher <ul><li>To practice one’s work in an open manner; to work transparently </li></ul><ul><li>To ‘work’ is to engage in a community </li></ul><ul><li>To be openly reflective, eg., to write about the work </li></ul>
  7. 7. Role of the Learner <ul><li>To attach oneself to an authentic environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eg. A role-playing game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eg. Electronic Performance Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eg. Community of Practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To observe and emulate successful practice </li></ul><ul><li>To be ‘reflective’, ie., to engage in conversation about the practice </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Connectivist Learning Model
  9. 9. Model <ul><li>- conceptual frameworks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>wiki (wiki API, RSS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>concept maps (SVG, mapping format) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gliffy (SVG?) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>reference frameworks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>video / 2L 3D representation – embedded spaces </li></ul></ul>The question is – how to transport and represent models that are actually used?
  10. 10. Demonstrate <ul><li>Demonstrate </li></ul><ul><li>reference examples </li></ul><ul><ul><li>code library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>image samples </li></ul></ul><ul><li>thought processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>show experts at work (Chaos Manor) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>application </li></ul><ul><ul><li>case studies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>stories </li></ul></ul>The question is, how can we connect the learner with the community at work?
  11. 11. Practice <ul><li>Practice </li></ul><ul><li>scaffolded practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>game interfaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sandboxes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>job aids </li></ul><ul><ul><li>flash cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cheat sheets </li></ul></ul><ul><li>games and simulations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>mod kits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>mmorpgs </li></ul></ul>The question is, how can we enable access to multiple environments that support various activities?
  12. 12. Reflection <ul><li>Reflection </li></ul><ul><li>guided reflection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>forms-based input </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>presentations and seminars </li></ul></ul><ul><li>journaling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>blogs, wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>discussion, sharing </li></ul></ul>The question is, how can we assist people to see themselves, their practice, in a mirror?
  13. 13. Choice – Identity - Creativity <ul><li>- simulated or actual environments that present tasks or problems </li></ul><ul><li>OpenID, authentication, feature or profile development </li></ul><ul><li>Portfolios & creative libraries </li></ul>People talk about ‘motivation’ – but the real issue here is ownership
  14. 14. <ul><li>Interaction – participation in a learning community (or a community of practice) </li></ul><ul><li>Usability – simplicity and consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance – or salience , that is, learning that is relevant to you, now </li></ul>Personal Learning
  15. 15. Interaction: principles <ul><li>Pull is better than push … </li></ul><ul><li>Speak in your own (genuine) voice (and listen for authenticity) </li></ul><ul><li>Share your knowledge, your experiences, your opinions </li></ul><ul><li>Make it a habit and a priority </li></ul>
  16. 16. Usability: principles <ul><li>Elements of Usability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consistency … I know what to expect… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplicity … I can understand how it works… </li></ul></ul>“… probably the greatest usability experts are found in the design labs of Google and Yahoo!”
  17. 17. Relevance: principles <ul><li>Information is a flow , not a collection of objects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t worry about remembering, worry about repeated exposure to good information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Relevance is defined by function , not topic or category </li></ul><ul><li>Information is relevant only if it is available where it is needed </li></ul>
  18. 18. Network Learning
  19. 19. Reliability (AKA the Semantic Condition)
  20. 20. Diversity <ul><li>Did the process involve the widest possible spectrum of points of view? </li></ul><ul><li>Did people who interpret the matter one way, and from one set of background assumptions, interact with people who approach the matter from a different perspective? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Autonomy <ul><li>Were the individual knowers contributing to the interaction of their own accord, according to their own knowledge, values and decisions? </li></ul><ul><li>Or were they acting at the behest of some external agency seeking to magnify a certain point of view? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Openness <ul><li>Is there a mechanism that allows a given perspective to be entered into the system, to be heard and interacted with by others? </li></ul>
  23. 23. Connectivity <ul><li>Is the knowledge being produced the product of an interaction between the members, or is it a (mere) aggregation of the members' perspectives? </li></ul><ul><li>A different type of knowledge is produced one way as opposed to the other. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Examples
  25. 25. Wiki... <ul><li>Associative learning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>provides examples to follow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>allows correction and criticism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rethinking and rewriting </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Wiki (cont) <ul><li>Personal Learning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>engages interaction – genuine voice, experiences, opinions? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>simple and consistent interface...? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>accessible where & when I need it...? </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Wiki (cont) <ul><li>Reliability... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>do I have diversity of sources (in wiki – means a threshold number) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are the sources autonomous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>connectedness – links, etc? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>open – can anyone contribute? </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Image Samples... <ul><li>Associative learning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>provides examples to follow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>allows correction and criticism...? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rethinking and rewriting – is reuse allowed? </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Image Samples (cont) <ul><li>Personal Learning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>engages interaction – genuine voice, experiences, opinions? personal photos? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>simple and consistent interface...? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>accessible where & when I need it...? API? </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Image Samples (cont) <ul><li>Reliability... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>do I have diversity of sources (eg., Flickr?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are the sources autonomous </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>connectedness – links, etc? (tagging? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>open – can anyone contribute? </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Second Life... <ul><li>Associative learning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>provides examples to follow? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>allows correction and criticism...? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rethinking and rewriting – is reuse allowed? </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Second Life (cont) <ul><li>Personal Learning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>engages interaction – genuine voice, experiences, opinions? personal identity? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>simple and consistent interface...? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>accessible where & when I need it...? API? </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Second Life (cont) <ul><li>Reliability... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>do I have diversity of sources (inside SL, outside?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are the sources autonomous (what is the role of the rules imposed by Linden?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>connectedness – links, etc? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>open – can anyone contribute? </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Blogs... <ul><li>Associative learning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>provides examples to follow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>allows correction and criticism...? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rethinking and rewriting – a weakness of blogs? </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Blogs (cont) <ul><li>Personal Learning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>engages interaction – genuine voice, experiences, opinions? Pull vs push </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>simple and consistent interface...? Blogger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>accessible where & when I need it...? RSS, Blogger API </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Blogs (cont) <ul><li>Reliability... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Am I reading a diversity of blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are the sources autonomous - not paid blogs? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>connectedness – links, etc? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are they open - can people comment, link? </li></ul></ul>

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