Reporting from Day 1 of Online Connectivism Conference (OCC) 2007
(February 2nd â€“ 9th)
â€œThis meeting is of historic importance!â€ one member of the opening live session of George Siemens stated when the lecture with permanent active chat discussion in Elluminate at last Friday was finished. As two of the nearly 200 participants (my counter showed 198 exactly!) in this great event at the OCC 2007 we were really very impressed by the international attendance (from Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Great Britain,â€¦) and by the amazing knowledge creation which was taking place in about 80 minutes. And although it was not possible to follow both interesting knowledge sources (ppt-lecture + chat) generated meaningful information at the same time in every detail it was an exciting experience for us as we are students in a small town called Ilmenau in Thuringia / Germany who were able to talk and listen to an expert round never would be possible in an actual course at university. In addition to that Thomas and I had a chat with each other during the session to think about the upcoming ideas and its usefulness for our PLE-project. I really felt â€œconnectivisedâ€ *I hope this is verbalized correctly.* 🙂
Also the session itself was recorded and will be provided by George. The ppt-file can be found here already and lively discussions are taking place at the appropriate Moodle Server. Thanks a lot for this great engagement!
8 days before George Siemens posted the preconference presentation â€œSituating Connectivism: Relation of existing theories of learning and knowingâ€œ which gives a widespread overview about learning theories. In this presentation he also defines some interesting aspects which could be inspiring for further discussion in our community that a learning theory should provide 3 functions to be a learning theory:
- It should explain and predict.
Explain what is happening today and what is going on.Predict if persons are engaged in a particular learning activity there occurs a particular outcome with similar results by testing with other persons.
- It needs to advance a discipline.
That means providing a way of understanding learning as it is occurring in a particular space.
- It should prepare us for future needs.
Especially in a society of information growth in which technology continues to make our landscape more and more complex and in which global conversations are enabled like homely discussions a perspective of learning is required.
Furthermore he suggests not to put learning theories in opposition to each other but instead explore where theorists agree and where the principals of theorists begin to influence a theory and practice of learning in a technology enabled environment!
- â€œWe canâ€™t see the way out yet because we are thinking within the existing structure. Thatâ€™s why we are still having discussions about constructivism vs connectivism (or some such model). Connectivism is entirely different â€“ not fixated on the learning model of â€˜in head with aid of socializationâ€™. Knowledge â€“ and the affiliated concepts of learning and understanding â€“ is a function of â€˜the networkâ€™ â€.
- â€œA connection is the awareness with potential for relationship. Each node is a portal to a new network.â€
- â€œConnectivism means networked learning [â€¦] our ability to learn and stay current is directly related to the strength and diversity of our personal learning network. [â€¦]â€
Moreover as an example he picked up a nice visualization of blog activities (as you can see in the picture) which reminded me directly on the development processes in our blog.
Image Source: http://darmano.typepad.com/
Last but not least he defined skills that learners need which can be found also in his book â€œKnowing Knowledgeâ€(p.113):
- pattern recognition
- network formation and evaluation
(how to create a network and how to evaluate – it means to get an overview to develop solutions)
- critical / creative thinking
- acceptance of uncertainty / ambiguity
(learn to â€œthink in hyperlinksâ€)
Our ideas during the session were that connectivism displaces the focus from having knowledge to finding knowledge. That means knowledge is added among each other. Not all members in a community know everything. And as a â€œconnection builderâ€ IÂ´m able to find out whom I have to ask to solve my problems or to fill my knowledge gap. Therefore learning occurs out of the network. I do not have to know how a particular technology has been programmed but I must get to know that it exists whom I have to ask and how I can use it to reach my goals.
One can say that the OCC by now is a very enriching event for all participants and interested people. We are really looking forward to the next sessions.
With best regards