The CCK08 Anniversary

It’s about time when we would celebrate the CCK08 anniversary – in September 2009.

I still remember the time when I joined the CCK08 last fall, where I experienced an exciting journey with both the instructors, guest speakers and other co-learners there in the course, forum and blogs etc.

The ‘community’ that evolved out of CCK08 made me feel proud to be involved in a truly global learning network.

I have yet to recollect all those great artifacts that are distributed in the networks, via the various tools like Delicious, Facebook, Ning, Blogs, Wikis .

I think it’s about time not only to reflect upon my experiences and learning, but to prepare for the coming exciting journey in CCK09.

As I have mentioned in my reflection post in this blog, I would like to take on another  ‘flight’ to a ‘higher’ virtual space, this time likely with a blend of old and new participants.

CCK08 would then be superseded by CCK09….

If you are interested, here it is CCK09.  See you.

John

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Leadership in education and social networking

 Allison Miller posted in FB “If you are leading and no-one is following you are just going out for a walk” #acpet

Can we lead without any one following?  Why not?

Would leading by going out for a walk be a healthy exercise?

In wikipedia on servant leadership:

Dr. Kent Keith, author of The Case for Servant Leadership and the current CEO of the Greenleaf Center, states that servant leadership is ethical, practical, and meaningful. He identifies seven key practices of servant leaders: self-awareness, listening, changing the pyramid, developing your colleagues, coaching not controlling, unleashing the energy and intelligence of others, and foresight. James Sipe and Don Frick, in their book The Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership, state that servant-leaders are individuals of character, they put people first, they are skilled communicators, they are compassionate collaborators, they use foresight, they are systems thinkers, and they exercise moral authority.

Unlike leadership approaches with a top-down hierarchical style, servant leadership instead emphasizes collaboration, trust, empathy, and the ethical use of power. At heart, the individual is a servant first, making the conscious decision to lead in order to better serve others, not to increase their own power. The objective is to enhance the growth of individuals in the organization and increase teamwork and personal involvement.

That’s servant leadership, where we serve in our “leading” role, especially in a networked learning environment. The best leaders are anonymous, when the “followers” all respond to the leadership “call”: “we have done it through the leadership spirit where every one is leading”. Such leaders won’t need the fame, the honour, because they know their followers and their followers recognise them. Such leaders are altruistic, and always strive hard to serve others, not for their benefits, but others. This is reflected in religious leaders – Jesus, Buddha.

Would it be better to lead without any one following you? Because your “followers” know that they don’t have to follow you to be leaders! They serve others instead and they are practising leadership. Would that be the leadership at its best, not being served or followed – but serving others?

 They would be respected.

See also my previous post on servant leadership.

How would servant leadership be applied in education, in on-line learning and social networking?

Have you found any servant leaders in education?  Who are they?  What do they have in common?

Online Presentation and Facilitation

Jenny writes in her F2F and Online teaching :

“There are people who seem to be equally effective on and offline, but I wonder if a good face-to-face ‘presenter’ also ‘presents’ when working online, and if a good online ‘facilitator’ is also a ‘facilitator’ rather than a ‘presenter’ when working face-to-face.”

I normally found that facilitators are more learner-centred, where presenters are more teacher-centred, though it really depends on the context.

Facilitators would focus on the interests of the audience, based upon the discussion of some topics which are relevant to the audience, whereas presenters would focus on the “presenting or “selling” of their interests” to their audience, which may or may not be able to cater for the interests of their learners. 

Good facilitators and presenters could motivate their audience or readers to learn and be engaged in a session, a blog or a forum.  The best on-line facilitators and presenters could also be great learners, as they understand the needs of other learners.  They could create an environment that is conducive to learning.  They could inspire their learners to pursue their goals of interests, not just by relating to the immediate blogs and topics of interests, but to  reflect upon what they have learnt through the blogs and topics.

There are many fantastic facilitators and presenters:  George, Stephen, Terry, Howard, Grainne, Jay, Alec, TonyNancy, Jane,  Jenny, Roy, and many others.

Would bloggers be presenting or facilitating via their blog posts?  

Would people be more interested in presenting or facilitating in social network media such as Ning?

How would we evaluate a good presenter in on-line environment?

How would we evaluate a good facilitator in on-line environment?

Who would you rate as excellent on-line presenters?

Have you met any excellent on-line facilitators?

Neuroeconomics and Decision Making

I found this article on neuroeconomics of interests.

The article has reviewed two general ways in which the neuroeconomic endeavor can make important contributions to research on decision-making – firstly, the incorporation into neuroscience and psychology of the formal, rigorous economic modeling approach, and secondly, the awareness within the economic community of the evidence for multiple systems involved in decision-making.

Some of the questions that would be of interest in our decision making include:

How do systems that seem to be focused on immediate decisions and actions interact with systems involved in longer term planning (e.g. making a career decision)?

Under what circumstances do these various systems cooperate or compete?  When there is competition, how and where is it adjudicated?

Psychologists, neuroscientists and behavioural economists all seem to agree that various automatic forms of behavior (including emotional responses) reflect the operation of a  multiplicity of mechanisms.  However, do higher-level deliberate processes rely similarly on multiple mechanisms, or a single, more tightly integrated (unitary) set of mechanisms?

My further questions include:

How would the above research help in understanding our decision making in networked learning?

How do we decide on the connections in networked learning? 

 

 

 

Neuroeconomics

I found this article on neuroeconomics of interests.

The article has reviewed two general ways in which the neuroeconomic endeavor can make important contributions to research on decision-making – firstly, the incorporation into neuroscience and psychology of the formal, rigorous economic modeling approach, and secondly, the awareness within the economic community of the evidence for multiple systems involved in decision-making.

One current challenge is to ensure that researchers are communicating productively; often, terms such as ‘choice’, ‘judgment’ and ‘decision’ are used in different ways by different fields.  A useful endeavour would be to arrive at a common language, and perhaps a common set of ‘decision tasks’, to ensure that the hitherto heartening level of collaboration across these diverse fields continue in a productive fashion.

With increasing collaboration among researchers from across the fields of interest, it also seems certain that other interesting avenues of research will open up in the future.

Some of the questions that would be of interest in our decision making include:

How do systems that seem to be focused on immediate decisions and actions interact with systems involved in longer term planning (e.g. making a career decision)?

Under what circumstances do these various systems cooperate or compete?  When there is competition, how and where is it adjudicated?

Psychologists, neuroscientists and behavioural economists all seem to agree that various automatic forms of behavior (including emotional responses) reflect the operation of a  multiplicity of mechanisms.  However, do higher-level deliberate processes rely similarly on multiple mechanisms, or a single, more tightly integrated (unitary) set of mechanisms?

A response to Life Cycle of Connectedness

This is my response to Jenny’s wonderful post on Life Cycle of Connectedness.

Jenny, I feel sorry that your mum’s connections are waning at all levels. Also, it’s sad to lose a close colleague. The appearance on Facebook may be an honourable way to keep those pass away a good memory though.

Your mention of the different stages of connectedness life cycle often happen in communities. My observation and experience is that some people would choose the community which would meet her continuous needs, at different times, though sometimes some others would just gradually “fade” away from being an active networker to the peripheral (as legitimate peripheral participant) to eventual “withdrawal”. When there is a renewal of interests or something that is exciting “offered” by the network or community, then some may be drawn back as rekindled networkers of the community.

Would this depend on the context and the “stage” of the community? Such pattern of life cycle may appear different when it is relating to religious community, where it is not sparked by interests (only), but by faith, belief, and love. A sense of helping and loving each other in an altruistic manner is an inner call, from most religions. Would this pattern be reflective of how we meet new acquaintances or friends in the real world, or even in the digital world?

Connectivity: can it die? May be physically, but not spiritually… as people always would be in remembrance of the friendship formed. Once a friend, could be a friend forever, that Utopian state of friendship that is embraced in one’s heart.

Thanks Jenny for your inspiring post.

What is knowledge and learning rev 1a

What is knowledge?  By Sui Fai John Mak

 

The water metaphor of knowledge

 

Water – one of our most precious resources on earth could exist in different forms.

 

It could exist in vapour, liquid, and solid.

 

In liquid form – see the water fall below

In vapour form – see its reflection from the rainbow – how beautiful it could be

 

 

 

 

TakakkawFalls2_edit.jpg

 

In liquid form again – in ocean, see below.

In solid form – in icebergiceberg 3703386681_635d17d7ee.jpg

 

So knowledge is “represented” and “appeared” in nature in different forms, in different phases, and is ubiquitous throughout the nebulous networks.  It’s pervasive.

 

Water is just one form of networks in nature which could illustrate the different phases of knowledge.  As knowledge is fluid, so is water.

 

We could represent water in the below form:  It’s still H2O only that it appears in different forms to you.

 

In solid form – the iceberg, the knowledge is frozen – it could be sensed – touched and we could understand it as it is tangible.  This is where more of us know it when it appears above the ocean.

Do you know that in ice-cream the ice formed are coming from a mixture of water and milk or skim milk powder?  So we are taking water in the form of ice-cream.  Isn’t it yum?

 

In liquid form, the knowledge is fluid – it could “flow from one place to another”, from one resource to another.  We all drink water everyday, would that be the analogy we could draw on the absorption of knowledge (nutrients, water) into our body, through the blood stream into our brain?  That might be the knowledge that we are referring to when reading an artefact, an article or sharing our knowledge with others through interaction, communication and collaboration.

 

We all need rain; it is the most valuable resource to us on earth.  We can’t survive without rains.  Otherwise there would be drought. So, knowledge is surely important in such a form – the rain.  But it could also cause flooding, if there is too much rain,

 

Let’s look at a tsunami, with big waves of water, thundering through the ocean to the land, it could kill, it could destroy everything.  Or in the case of a reservoir, if the water overflows, the water would flow from the dams, and could swamp nearby village.  So, would too much knowledge be a problem?  May be too much “evil knowledge” or “viral meme” is the problem, not the knowledge itself in its “secured contained state”.

 

In vapour form, water is everywhere, but might not be seen by our naked eyes.  We could sense it, especially when the environment is too humid.  We could also see the vapours in the form of clouds.  Here there would be a lot of knowledge (or information) in the form of water vapour which is hidden there in digital networks, communities, internet and artefacts and people who are immersed in the networks.  At times, it could appear in different forms, like a condensate, or in the clouds, or in fumes or mist. 

 

We could also show it below

 

 

The Web2.0 tools (ICT) are there to collect the water (in the form of water vapours or liquid water or solid ice in the digital/virtual networks.  The Networks, Communities are “reservoirs or streams of water, water vapours banks, rains and icebergs”.  The people are immersed and are part of the networks and communities.

 

 

 

 

 

Water in the cloud

The iceberg 

 

Above: Explicit Knowledge

 

So water vapour (vaporised knowledge is everywhere)

Where knowledge is in the networks and nodes of networks

(Internet, artefacts, people)

 

The Iceberg

 

 

Water level (ocean) ————————————-

  • –    –
  • –   –

Below: Implicit or Tacit Knowledge                 –  –  –  –  –                               –  –  –  – –  –

Water – solidify knowledge immersed in liquefied   –  –  –  –                      –  –  –  – –  –

Knowledge                                                               –   –    –   –  –  –      –  –  –  – –  –

 

 

 

Knowledge exists in different phases (vapour, liquid and solid) that depends upon:

  1. Temperature
  2. Pressure
  3. Composition (Purity)

 

Temperature, pressure are the ambient environment factors which “shape” and “define” the state of water.  This is where our institutions, our teaching and learning strategies come into place.

 

 

What is learning?

 

Learning is the becoming activities, processes and refining of water: through condensation (clouds), rain, collection, purification, distillation, re-collection and consumption…..We need (knowledge & information) rain, we need water, and we need plenty of them for navigation, for our consumption and for our survival on earth.  Through evaporation, liquid water goes into the atmosphere, condensate and form the clouds, then it pours down as rain and we would collect it, and where necessary store it in different forms (vapour, liquid and solid forms).  It also appears in the natural forms as cloud, rain, seawater, ice etc.  The whole water cycle repeats again as part of the ecology.  So, our knowledge would be refreshed in the same manner through such learning cycle, where our knowledge is mixed and mashed, re-purposed and is created in different forms, in different places or spaces, at different times through such phase changes.  It may be liquid à Vapour à liquid à solid etc.

 

The “water” cycle….

 

 

In the same way

 

The learning cycle…

 

This is where I am up to….

Still pondering.

 

More to come.

 

John Mak

10/07/09