Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bookmarks of Note (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Get More Social

The social brain and its superpowers: Matthew Lieberman, Ph.D. at TEDxSt.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Bookmarks of Note (weekly)

    • A cross-platform app for analyzing qualitative and mixed methods research with text, photos, audio, videos, spreadsheet data and so much more.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

It's time for a paradigm shift...

Consider that we cannot cure symptoms of dissatisfaction with the status quo.

What are these symptoms? Boredom, a lack of integrity, disaffection, disregardfulness, disrespect....basic hoi poloi syndrome.

This syndrome can be observed in both students and teachers. What is the cure? Not more of the same!

Shifting our shared school paradigms from the Industrial Era, which is over like bell-bottoms are over, to the happening Digital Revolution. Some call it by other names, like the rose.

  • What if we did something scary and radical for a change? 
  • What if school above primary school were four days per week for several hours in the morning. 
  • What if MS and HS courses met once or twice per week and students actually completed collaborative research assignments online outside of class. 
  • What if teachers only taught four courses, but deeply taught them. 
  • What if teachers tutored individuals, led study groups, authored wikis/blogs, advised student clubs in the afternoons, and still got paid for an entire eight hours work. 

We all know we work far more than eight hours anyway. What if? Will we dare to live our dreams?

A reposting of a blog post from early thoughts in 2007.....

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Recently an acquaintance said to me that I was the only person who acknowledged him. I jumped into action by asking my peers to level up and talk to one other person..about the weather, the grandchildren, anything.
My thoughts were echoed by friend Lady Mei, who asked peers to converse with others, be the light in their lives, acknowledge others.
Today, I read with pleasure a pertinent post by Angela Maiers
And then as if the heavens conspired, I read this from my friend Deyna

By Antonio M. Mora García March 2010
The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else's cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God - if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That's what I think.Maya Angelou

So I am thinking that all this universal conspiring on several platforms is clearly telling me to be more, to jump higher, to run the course better and faster.

Addendum: This is a reposting of thoughts during my doctoral journey, which is far from over at this point. During this new year, I will be looking to level up and me the rainbow in somebody else's cloud.............

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Bookmarks of Note (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Random Thoughts in EDUC8845

Granted, I have not finished reading the Siemen's article. However, this sentence stopped me in my tracks - " secondary institutions 'have not embraced opportunities for innovation, from new methods of teaching and content delivery to technological advances to meeting the increased demand for lifelong learning." (p.8) I am taking courses from an online university. They got part of the delivery right. But what about innovative teaching methods? Maybe it's unfair that I took the Connectivism course with George and Dave. Maybe it's unfair that I talk on twitter with educators around the world. Maybe it's unfair that I have been involved with the K12online conference and the Global Education Conference. Maybe it is. So maybe my expectations are too high for experiencing innovative techniques in my own doctoral education.
Or is it time to raise the bar?
I posted a query in a class discussion board yesterday morning. No response. I know had I posted on Twitter someone, even @paulrwood, would have responded. And this is the innovative climate to which I have grown accustomed. So do I become discouraged and give up or do I continue to raise the bar and insist that the education for which I am paying drag itself into the global era?
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Photo courtesy of  Stuck in Customs covered under an Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license available at
Siemens, G. (2008, January 27). Learning and knowing in networks: Changing roles for educators and designers. Paper presented to ITFORUM. Retrieved from
Update: This is a reposting of a post from 2010, during one of my doctoral courses at Walden. I would add that I now work with an innovator, an educator, and totally amazing lady who has been in 'my circle of the wise' since 2006  @coolcatteacher

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Erasing Distance and Time - EDUC 8842 Module Two

Siemens (2008) ties the growth of distance education to the increased use of conversational tools and the capacity to increase connections.  He claims it is significant that now anyone can participate with anyone in conversations across boundaries that would have been impossible before the advent of the Internet.
This affects distance education by increasing the amount of global conversations and evaporating the barriers of distance and time.  By increasing the comfort level of students in distance education, the interaction level between participants both inside and outside of courses increases.
Siemens (2004) has written about a learning theory that takes into account this ability of the present technology to disintegrate distance and time thus increasing the ability to have collaborative conversations in Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age.
Heather Kanuka states in Chapter 4 of Terry Anderson's book, "e-learning technologies can effectively respond to accelerating global competition, increase the quality of learning experiences, remove situational barriers, and be more cost effective" (2008, p.91).  George Siemens, Stephen Downes, and Dave Cormier have collaborated using e-learning technologies that did all of those.  Dave Cormier explains how in the following video.

Kratz (2011) says collaboration is important because it emphasizes skills, team-building, and creativity that will be necessary in any student's future.  These skills in connecting, team-building, and creativity are alluded to in Dave Cormier's thoughts on rhizomatic learning expressed in COOLCast - w/ Dave Cormier on Rhizomatic Learning where he categorizes the connections made possible by digital tools and the Internet.  Siemens asks, “Where is distance education heading as a field?”  Extended rhizomatic learning is where I believe distance education is heading.  We each build our learning by connecting conversations in and across networks.  I invite George Siemens, Stephen Downes, Dave Cormier, and others to respond to this question.

Anderson, T. (Ed.). (2008). The theory and practice of online learning (2nd ed.). Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press.
Kratz, H. (2011). The importance of collaboration in higher education. Retrieved from
Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of Distance Education. Baltimore: Author.
Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved from
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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bookmarks of Note (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Death by -ism

After reading the posts and comments by Bill Kerr, Karl Kapp, and Stephen Downes, I created the graphic combining the learning theories and Bloom's Revised Taxonomy. Karl Kapp suggests that the lower levels could best utilize the Behaviorist theory, while Cognitivism addresses the middle levels and the top levels are best described by Constructionism. This graphic neatly puts Bloom's and the three -isms into place, but leaves out the fourth -ism  Connectionism. Perhaps Bloom's needs yet another revision, adding another level for learning which is best explained by the Connectionism theory. It might say forming PLNs & networks. I have challenged @gsiemens on twitter to define his theory in the allotted 140 characters. He answered me with, "knowledge exists in connections. Learning is growing/pruning those connections." So I see another level may be needed as well, one that says-> Pruning & Cultivating Connections.
I do agree with Karl Kapp that different ways of learning are best explained by different theories and that teachers should not limit themselves to one theory but should be able to use an arsenal of methods (grounded in various theories) to educate students. Bill Kerr also considers each -ism to be valuable for various ways of understanding learning.
George Siemens connects the three first -isms to the three epistemological traditions or ways of looking at informations and knowledge.
Objectivism & Behaviorism
Pragmatism & Cognitivism
Interpretivism & Constructionism
Driscoll contends that Objectivism and Interpretivism are often considered as opposites and Pragmatism ties them together. (p. 13)
Piaget is a prominent cognitivist theorist who addressed the different developmental stages through which children grow. These stages are important to know for designing learning environments. Other cognitivist theorists have posited other useful ideas for teaching, like Vygotsky's ZPD, and Gardner's MI Theory. It should be noted that these theorists could fit into other theories as well.  So while Kerr thinks -isms change, it may be better to change the -ism instead. The above mentioned posts are not so much about Cognitivism but about learning theories in general. All three men were involved in an an open course in 2008 called Connectivism & Connective Knowledge.
Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Written for coursework during my journeys at Walden.... 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Learning in the Connections

Ever since I took part in the CCK08 (Connectivesm and Connective Knowledge Online Course 2008) I have been intrigued with the learning theory that learning is about connections. It seems both George and Stephen have written reams, which I have barely touched, about this theory.
I learned the basic few in my formal schooling, namely

  • Behaviorism
  • Cognitivism
  • Constructivism
To this I learned during CCK08 to add Connectivism. Now everyone can have their theory, but the idea that knowledge is made up of connections is especially appealing. It makes sense. I listened to a video during the course where George said learning was in the connections and it all clicked. Not that I can express it very well as both gentlemen can. It just made sense. Connecting has to do with pattern making - with schema like Angela Maiers told my 7th graders.
While reading about these learning theories, I found an article by William Cronon. He suggests, "A liberal education is about...the wisdom to connect." [Cronon, W. (2004). 10 Qualities of a Liberally Educated Person. The University of Wisconsin-Madison. Available at id=159 Accessed July 9, 2009.]
Those ten qualities are epitomized in those with whom I surround myself both online and offline:
  1. They listen and they hear.
  2. They read and they understand.
  3. They can talk to anyone.
  4. They can write clearly, persuasively, and movingly.
  5. They can solve a wide variety of puzzles and problems.
  6. They respect rigor, not so much for its own sake but as a way of seeking truth.
  7. They practice humility, tolerance, and self-criticism.
  8. They understand how to get things done in the world.
  9. They nurture and empower the people around them.
  10. They connect.

Photo courtesy of dvidal.lorente covered under a Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons license available at
This a reposting from right before I decided to go all out and head down the doctoral path....and I am still in awe of Angela Maiers.....