Friday, January 21, 2011

Connectivism and Instructional Design: Paddling Against the Current

Our first week of CCK11 has introduced Connectivism and the idea that the content of the curriculum can't  be defined in advance. As an instructional designer, I am challenged by that assertion.

My current conception of ID is that we continue to define and develop content, concepts and learning activities in containers variously called modules, courses or training events with more or less distinct boundaries and with varying degrees of specificity. What has changed is that content has become "commoditized." Instruction, particularly the design of the learning activities, is the value-add in the online learning environment.

I'm still pondering what the role of ID is in a connectivist learning environment; or even the role of teacher/instructor.

As an aside, but something that seems relevant at least to me, is this article from the Guardian online - National curriculum review puts emphasis on facts.

As practitioners on the educational front lines, we seem to be always trying to reconcile the competing agendas of various stakeholders. Connectivism seems a vision for the future in a world where everyone has the option of being connected (and wants to be connected).

Locally, a parents group calling themselves "Citizens for Safe Technology" is lobbying to have WiFi networks removed from the schools as a health issue. The current reality is indeed one of enormous complexity!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Why now?

I've been a practitioner and advocate of technology-enabled learning for most of my professional life. I used to think of myself as one of the early adopters of new processes and technologies. However, I have been watching the evolution of Web 2.0/E-Learning 2.0 from the sidelines as a spectator.

As a consultant/teacher/trainer, I believe that one can only really understand new approaches and applications by immersing oneself and gaining direct experience.

The immediate impetus for beginning to blog arises from my imminent participation in two open online courses - Learning and Knowledge Analytics, LAK11, and Connectivism and Connected Knowledge, CCK11. I expect that these will both be valuable learning experiences.

I'm looking forward to meeting and interacting with those of you already in online communities.