George Siemens

Adios Ed Tech. Hola something else.

George Siemens

Others have been more decentralized and unstructured – like blogs, wikis, and social media. My early interest was in blogs and wikis in learning. I’ve been involved in educational technology since the late 1990′s when I was at Red River College and involved in deploying the first laptop program in Canada. Since that time, I’ve been involved in many technology deployments in learning and in researching those deployments.

Multiple pathways: Blending xMOOCs & cMOOCs

George Siemens

Matt Crosslin captures these concepts in his blog post (and image below I’m running a MOOC on edX in fall on Data Analytics & Learning (registration will be open soon).

Trending Sources

What I’ve learned in my first week of a dual-layer MOOC (DALMOOC)

George Siemens

In the process, I’ve used roughly any tool I can get my hands on, including Second Life, Twitter, Facebook, G+, Netvibes, blogs, Wikispaces, Diigo, and so on. This last week we launched our open course on Data, Analytics, and Learning on edX.

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The future of higher education and other imponderables

George Siemens

YouTube, blogs, and anything accessible in a browser is quasi-open. We will be running an open online course from Oct 8-Nov 16 , 2012, addressing some of the concepts in this post. Registration is free (duh).

What is the theory that underpins our moocs?

George Siemens

They have been covered by NY Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, TV programs, newspapers, and a mess or blogs. Learners need to create and share stuff – blogs, articles, images, videos, artifacts, etc.

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Losing interest in social media: there is no there there

George Siemens

After recreating my online social network ( largely based on blogs from early 2000) in Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Quora, G+ was a chore. I’ve been blogging since 2000 and can attribute a numerous positives to this activity: I was hired at University of Manitoba because of my blog and bi-weekly newsletter. Blogging/writing/transparent scholarship=intellect. Google+ was a bit of a breaking point for me.

Google+ – fundamental misunderstanding of networks?

George Siemens

Yes, I likely respond to a small cluster of blogs and tweets that I encounter. I’ve been playing around with Google+. As others have stated, it’s Google’s best foray into social networking. It’s an impressive product, defined by Google’s typical clean interface. The idea of “circles&# is somewhat related to Twitter Lists and is helpful for organizing friends/colleagues and tracking different activity streams.

MOOCs for the win!

George Siemens

Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are getting attention on various blogs and news sites. I’ll try and synthesize the conversation over the last few weeks and describe the role of MOOCs in education.

Negating the learner in the learning process

George Siemens

Fortunately, a majority of learners participated on their own blog, so they still have their own contributions. Some of the coherence of the course could be discovered just by reading through the blog posts. Get a blog folks. Yesterday, a Coursera course was closed after the first week of delivery. 40,000 students were left somewhat confused. I posted a few thoughts on this on our xeducation site.

A few simple tools I want edu-startups to build

George Siemens

Sure, let’s fire up SPSS load some economic data, compare that with sentiment analysis in both traditional and social media, and then output a visualization on our blogs. What he’s doing today will be prominent in edtech in a few years (if his early work with OLE (LMS), blogging, RSS, learning 2.0 It aggregates blogs and feeds the ones with a particular course tag into a daily email. Basically, it weaves together distributed conversations (blogs, twitter, moodle).

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Online University Education in Canada

George Siemens

The response was significant – we found faculty and TAs using wikis, blogs, lecture capture tools, podcasts, clickers, second life, and mobiles for teaching. There is more activity in online learning (or, at minimum blended learning) in higher education than most universities realize. When I was at University of Manitoba, we tried to get a sense of what faculty were doing with technology in their courses, particularly with what was then called web 2.0

Activating Latent Knowledge Capacity

George Siemens

For people who had been blogging since late 1990′s or early 2000′s, Facebook wasn’t of much value. Between flickr, del.icio.us, blogs, RSS readers, and wikis, we were living the distributed, networked, learning dream. Last week, we wrapped up another successful Learning Analytics Summer Institute at Harvard. The recordings of most of the talks and panels can be found here.

Rejected: On being disappointed, sorta

George Siemens

In early 2000, I also started blogging and eventually set up this site. I find conference presentations, blogging, open courses, and interactions online much more satisfying. I’ve never really actively “looked for work” In my late teens, my brother and I started a series of restaurants (we owned and operated seven in total). The hospitality field is very hard, however, on families and relationships as it consumes an enormous amount of time.

Never teach alone

George Siemens

In the late 90′s/early 2000′s, while at Red River College, I found the biggest benefit of blogging was that I could connect with others who were exploring edtech and new pedagogies. Teaching is a solitary profession. Obviously students are involved and social processes are needed for discussion on important topics, but the *act* of teaching is solitary.

On Research and Academic Diversity

George Siemens

This community, certainly blogs and with folks like Bonnie Stewart, Jim Groom, D’Arcy Norman, Alan Levine, Stephen Downes, Kate Bowles, and many others, is the most vibrant knowledge space in educational technology. Before blogs were called web 2.0, In my previous post, I mentioned the release of our report Preparing for the Digital University.

Distributed research lab: request for feedback

George Siemens

One of the things that I like most about blogging and social media is the ability to share partially-formed ideas and open them to critique. As I stated in a previous post , I recently had a mild disappointment in enacting a research project. And it got me thinking about why important research is often not conducted because granting agencies are actually not horribly innovative.

The best learning of my life

George Siemens

The Change MOOC has about 2400 participants, yet we get typically get about 40 participants per live sessions, 5-10 blog posts a day, and 20+ daily tweets related to the course. Video counts are a great way to track what people are actually doing in a course as creating something (artifact, blog post) is done less frequently in open courses than listening/reading. I’m currently involved in three open online courses: Change , CCK12 , and LAK12.

Join us: Stanford Learning Analytics Summer Institute

George Siemens

Join the distributed conversation on Twitter/your blog/wherever: #LASI13 While MOOCs are sucking all of the oxygen out of the educational technology conversation, significant trends are developing under the radar. One of the most significant trends is around learning analytics. Next week, we ( SoLAR , IEDMS and others) are organizing a Learning Analytics Summer Institute (LASI). A call for attendance was held earlier this year and the event was/is (massively) oversubscribed.

Learning Analytics 2011: Reflections

George Siemens

Afred Essa has compiled the blogs covering the conference. Doug Clow was particular thorough in blogging the presentations. On Feb 28-Mar 1 a group of 100 researchers, administrators, and academics (from 12 countries) converged in Banff, Alberta for the 1st International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge. Rather cold weather, at times exceeding -30C, drove most of the activities indoors. It was one of the most enjoyable conferences I’ve ever attended.

Information: What am I missing?

George Siemens

Blogs, wikis, image sharing. What can we do now with information that we could not do in the past? I’ve abused Kauffman’s concept of the adjacent possible by applying it to the new opportunities, untapped potential, and levels of complexity, that arise with the development of something new. In this case, the “something new&# is the ways in which new tools allow us to mess around with information.

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Connectivism and Connective Knowledge: CCK11

George Siemens

In CCK11, we are still providing a centering-like structure (gRSShopper), but the format will push more of the conversation to blogs and other environments. On Monday, January 17, Stephen Downes and I are offering the third version of Connectivism and Connective Knowledge course. This course is part of University of Manitoba’s Certificate in Emerging Technologies for Learning, so we have a group of for-credit students participating as well.

Rioting in an age of transparency

George Siemens

The Vancouver Canucks Riot is a surprisingly well documented event – probably one of the best documented riots in history thanks to tweets, images, videos, and blog posts. I’ve never had the need or occasion to participate in a riot. The events unfolding in the Middle East reveal the high cost of rioting for change – abuse, injury, and even death.

I need some help

George Siemens

But I benefit daily from open source software – my blogs are wordpress, the server that hosts my sites runs LAMP, at work I use ELGG ( the Landing ), for open courses we use gRSShopper , etc. On February 8, I’ll be delivering a talk at TEDxEdmonton’s event Rethinking Open Source Culture. In 2003 I posted a few articles online on open source movements and learning: Open source p.I , Open Source p.II , and Why we should share learning material.

Reflecting on Learning Analytics and SoLAR

George Siemens

Clarence, Alec, and I tackled this topic about three years ago, but we didn’t manage to push it much beyond a concept and a blog ). ” Dragan and Shane Dawson, who I connected with through a comment on this blog, are two critical connections and eventually friends. As this discussion thread on Martin Weller’s blog post reveals, there were voices of doubt around the idea of learning analytics: Wish you luck in pursuing this Next Greatest Thing.

Moodlemoot – Canada 2011

George Siemens

apparently being a significant step forward in social networked learning: site-wide cohorts, portfolio support, external blog feeds, updated wiki, community hubs, etc) in education. We (as in TEKRI ) are sponsoring/organizing the upcoming Moodlemoot in Edmonton from May 1-5, 2011. Stephen Downes and Martin Dougiamas are keynote presenters. I’m looking forward to the discussion opportunities around where learning management systems are heading.

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The Linearity of Stephen Downes. Or a tale of two Stephens

George Siemens

At this stage of reviewing his post, I’m left with the impression that much of Stephen’s complaint about our paper is actually a discussion with himself: The Stephen that disagreed with his phd supervisory committee and the Stephen that today has exceeded the impact of members on that committee through blogging, his newsletter, presentations, and software writing. Stephen Downes responds to my previous post : “I said, “the absence of a background in the field is glaring and obvious.”

Writing a book: xEducation

George Siemens

So we’ve set up a blog as field notes for the book: xEducation. Bonnie Stewart, Dave Cormier, and I have signed on to write a book on MOOCs and other such trends in education. The book will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2013. Unfortunately, and I recognize the irony, the book will not be open. A bit more background

Innovation in Education: Companies outside of USA?

George Siemens

At least, that’s the impression I get from the blogs and news sites that I follow. Innovation in education is getting attention globally. Entrepreneurship may well be the force that finally brings structural change to higher education after 800 years. The epicentre of edtech innovation is the USA. In particular, Audrey Watters is an excellent source for what’s happening in startups. EdSurge is helpful in detailing startups and funding. But what’s happening globally?

Attend (online) the Learning Analytics Summer Institute

George Siemens

If you blog, please follow directions here on adding to the blog feed (it’s not quite gRSShopper Last year, we held the Learning Analytics Summer Institute (LASI) at Stanford. This year we will hold LASI at Harvard. The event starts tomorrow and runs for three days (June 30 – July 2).

Audrey Watters is officially awesome

George Siemens

I absolutely love her work and ability to succinctly capture important technologies that are influencing education – as I’ve frequently declared on Twitter, FB, G+, and this blog. There are a few people in educational technology that serve a critical role for me in tracking trends and making sense of what’s happening. Stephen Downes is one such node. Audrey Watters is another. I assume most people in our field are familiar with Downes.

Amazon gives its future a black eye

George Siemens

That’s why once a concept (such as blogging) is declared dead, it moves off of the radar of news/media and the real work of adoption and innovation begins). I spent the first 6 years of my life in a small town near Ciudad Cuauhtémoc. The region consisted of hundreds of small villages (50-100 residents in each) and was agriculturally-based, but it wasn’t a very advanced economy. Each farm was largely a self-contained unit of skills.

Humbleness and thanks

George Siemens

With most of my writing on this blog and with open online courses, I’m not trying to tell others what I know. I don’t know how my writing comes across to others. When I was a teenager, I had a few general issues with the world (I know, likely the first teenager in history with this affliction) and very specific issues with authority. This attitude produced a number of difficult situations for me.

University of Texas at Arlington

George Siemens

This is likely not news to most readers as it has been posted in various blogs, forums, and announced at the MOOC Research conference in December, but I have applied, and received approval, for a leave of absence from Athabasca University to establish and set up a digital learning research lab at University of Texas at Arlington.

PLE: connectivist or constructivist

George Siemens

A blog is neither constructivist or connectivist…but it does have certain uses that make it better suitable for one task over another. Viplav Baxi tosses out a few provocative questions , including: “If for a moment we were to ignore Connectivism as a theory, but recognize the MOOC and the PLE as technological platforms, could they be assumed as a logical manifestation of social constructivist practices in the digital age?&#

Personal Learning Environments & Knowledge

George Siemens

We have almost 1200 participants in the course with over 140 blogs aggregated. Our open course on Personal Learning Environments and Knowledge (PLENK – and no, that’s not an awkward acronym) is off to a great start. You can still join. Week 1 readings are available here. As Stephen Downes notes , this is still somewhat manually done. I think PLEs today are where LMS were in late 1999: technology and software is developing quickly and pedagogical models are being explored.

Restructured relationships: the theatrics of social media

George Siemens

Mack Male provides detailed description , but here’s my short version: theatre attendee routinely blogs her opinions and experiences with a local theatre…a prominent actor at that theatre (Jeff Haslam) decides, after five years of reviews, to provide a (very sharp) rebuke to the blogger. Relationships are changing, driven largely by social media, for editors and readers, teachers and learners, politicians and the electorate. The “audience&# has changed in most sectors.

Networked Learning Conference

George Siemens

Blogs and Forums as Communication and Learning Tools in a MOOC. The Networked Learning Conference has now posted conference papers from the 2010 conference. I want to draw attention to three papers in particular that were influenced by CCK08/09 that Stephen Downes and I have delivered over the last few years (we’re gearing up for 2010.

A survey of powerful visualization techniques, from the obvious to the obscure

George Siemens

Twitter, Facebook, and blogs increase the volume of conversations, but when you tap into a few active networks, the social system begins to serve as a sensemaking agent. It’s tough to stay current in any field or on any topic these days – things just move too fast. Some progress is being made in using social networks and data visualization to address this challenge. Networks simultaneously contribute to and address the problem of abundance.

Social Media Use in Higher Education

George Siemens

Do *you* base your decisions on Twitter/Facebook/blog use on popularity of the tools in education I know this ( social media use in higher education ) is technically called research. The stats will no doubt be frequently shared at academic conferences. But have a look at the slides with a slightly critical perspective. What does this information actually do for us? Why should I care if 90%+ of educators have heard about social networks? Or how many have an account?

The value of critique

George Siemens

I’d like to draw attention to two recent critiques of the course format and content: Course does not deliver on promises : “Rather than experiencing a focused and rigorous process of learning a framework for trend analysis, the forums and blogs have been typical of the myriads of social networks already available to educators. Critique is not always desirable. In some cases, it hurts or infuriates.