Connectivism – K-12, Higher and Adult education, open courses and networks

Hi Bradley,
I read your review with interest.
I echoed with your view in that why not having fun in learning. So, if everyone is enjoying learning, would this shed light to our future generation in becoming a knowledge nation? And that we have confidence in preparing our coming generation (K-12 students) for the future challenges.

I am not too sure whether the normal distribution curve of learning applies to human. In that not everyone is learning in the same way, and there are always people who could learn by the exploitation of ICT, and thus may be better prepared for challenges (this needs more qualification!) And I am not sure!

However, one thing is certainly normal in that all the learning theories will sooner or later be replaced by new or emergent ones.  Take a look at learning theories based on multiple intelligence, emotional intelligence, where all the directors, education top leaders have attended.  What are the outcomes?  Some people become smarter, and others more intelligent in leading the organisation – with empowerment, managing change, motivation, leadership, etc.

The result: a top down approach with bottom up support expected or executed, with more policies, more accreditation, more innovations, and more controls and standards.  Networks are developed to support the central policies.  Major policies must be geared with career prospects, or business and industry requirements.  Because a responsible government is preparing its citizens towards better education, with centralised and standardised qualifications – for business and society needs.  Vision and missions are the milestones for any education department throughout the world, and all education institutions. 

How do these compare with this connectivism approach? Independent learning, but collaborative or cooperative networks, learning with autonomy, diversity, continuous innovative and improvement in learning with ICT as enablers.  Learners as centre of learning and education.  With emphasis on life-based and life-long learning.  Go with the flow type of liberating views on education, learning and networking. (I think Stephen prefers a more liberating view on education).  Democracy is emphasised, though voice of the crowds needs to be considered in any social networks. 

How will these concepts and applications of networks be linked or integrated with the vision and mission of politicians, directors of business, managers or administrators of business and education, educators, professors, parents, learners?  Where are the bridges?  What are the interests of the stakeholders (as mentioned by George)?  Where are the human, financial, technological and social supports?
What will be the impact on teachers/learners?  Do we need more or less teachers as a result of ICT in classes or courses?

Do we need more ICT training in K-12?  If yes, what sort of training is required NOW and how to do it?  Remember that a lot of institutions have banned the social network sites to ensure safety and security.  So, if the educators couldn’t reach them, how could they “teach” the learners? Besides, as mentioned by co-learner Lisa:”To replace our educational system with completely self-guided learners could mean premature specialization, and a lack of exposure to non-familiar subjects.”  So, how are we going to strike a balance between an educational school-based system and a self-guided learning system in K-12?  See discussion on Reality Check – some of the issues and solutions suggested by Ruth, Tom , Frances, Lee, and Stephen.

Surely with the CCK08, if 2 “teachers” could serve 2000 plus learners, do you think there is a need to employ more teachers/moderators in mass open on-line courses?  Will open on-line courses be the future?  Will everyone become a teacher in those “courses” or networks?  How about the accreditation?  Will such courses be recognised nationally and internationally?  Will networks such as community of practice be the education campfire? What will be the educational landscape of the future?
What will be the role of the professors/teachers in higher education?  Are they still the way finders for learners?  Who will be holding the authority/power in education and learning?  Is power an issue?  Where will these changes lead us to – emergent knowledge, learning, education?  A bright future?
And the questions go on….
I am interested in this connectivism journey, and what and where will these lead all of us up to?….
You are welcome to visit my blog: for comments.


Role of teacher (A to Z)

The role of the teacher could be (a to z):

(a) as an assessor (especially in the recognition of prior learning, and recognition of current competency)

(b) as a bright philosopher (an expert in philosophy or in one of its branches, who searches by logical reasoning, for understanding of the basic truths and principles of the universe, life, and morals, and of human perception and understanding of these) – George, Stephen, Dave, Anthony, Nancy……

(c) as a consultant or advisor to industry, or consultant or coach on auspicing

(d) as a course or curriculum designer/reviewer

(e) as an expert (or e-expert)

(f) as a facilitator (facilitation of discussions and learning activities)

(g) as a gardener (as mentioned by Lisa), guardian angel (Maru)  

(h)smile as an hononary advisor (in case of research projects)

(i) as an education and learning innovator

(j) as an (joint) examiner or moderator (to other institutions, universities)

(k) as a gate keeper

(l) as a learning team leader/facilitator/supervisor (whereas a learning team consists of the learner(s), the supervisor, a mentor, and the teacher/leader, librarian)

(m) as a manager/administrator (self learning manager and network administrator)

(n) as a course or network leader

(o) as a student counsellor/carer

(p) as a learning partner (similar to the co-learner) in this course Ariel, Bob, Carlos, Dave, Frances, Jenny, Keith, Ken, Lee, Lisa, Mark, Maru, Pat, Renee, Roy, Tom, etc. Sorry that I couldn’t list everyone, but you are definitely here.

(q) as a curator (pronounced with q..)(as mentioned by Lisa)

(r) as a researcher/research leader (this may be one of the most important roles of University professors or lecturers)

(s) as an e-learning or project or subject coordinator/developer (wiki, edublogs)

(t)  as a trainer, tutor/learning supporter or guide (like a tourist guide)

(u) (you) as a challenger (weight loss education program etc), Alec, Ariel, Frances, Jenny, Ken, Dave, George Siemens, Maru, Stephen Downes, Pat, Tom, etc.

(v) (we) as a change agent (Nancy White, Stephen Downes, George Siemens etc.)

(w) as a wizard (or better a magician) (as mentioned by Lisa), and a weaver (mentioned by Lisa) – Frances, Tom, Mark, and George and Stephen

(x) as a x-man or x-woman (who could transform the education) (George, Stephen, Lisa, Frances and you?)

(y)[[yes]] as a why-why questioner (always ask why?)

(z) as a mentor/coach (especially for trainees and apprentice or interns, whereas the supervisor or an experienced expert/head teacher would be a mentor/coach)

(zz) as a lecturer (as typical in giving lectures in those conferences or university courses)

 or as a ________ ( you name it)