George Siemens

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

George Siemens

Learning in complex knowledge environments requires navigating distributed spaces (wayfinding), acting with partial information, sensemaking, and becoming comfortable without reading everything. 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

Students, in contrast, suddenly had new tools of democratic information access (and distraction) at their fingertips. And, badges can help account for formal and informal learning in a variety of settings. More information is available here.

Trending Sources

What is the theory that underpins our moocs?

George Siemens

While we debate pedagogical models and the ideologies informing different MOOCs and the corporate interests of open courses, the lives of students in different parts of the world are being changed with these projects.

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Remaking education in the image of our desires

George Siemens

From my very informal scan of badges, I’d say 30+% of attendees represented venture capital. I really only have one point of advice for educators: be informed about the startup and the corporate activity.

Openness: Why learners should know about, and influence, how decisions are made about their learning

George Siemens

Digital networks antagonize planned information structures. Planned information structures like textbooks and courses simply can’t adapt quickly enough to incorporate network-speed information development.

Losing interest in social media: there is no there there

George Siemens

They are a means to connect in crisis situations and to quickly disseminate rapidly evolving information. Google+ was a bit of a breaking point for me. After recreating my online social network ( largely based on blogs from early 2000) in Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Quora, G+ was a chore.

The greatest MOOC conference in the history of MOOCs

George Siemens

Like much of the academy, current research models seem better designed for an era where information isn’t developed as rapidly as it is today. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) continue to receive a steady stream of media attention. The conversation is more nuanced now than it was a few years ago as attention has turned to credit, the impact on faculty, learner success, and related challenges.

Congrats to Paul-Olivier Dehaye: MassiveTeaching

George Siemens

Is the university so poorly informed about online learning that simply giving a faculty member keys to the kingdom without some guidance and direction was assumed to be a good approach? In a previous post , I commented on the Massive Teaching course at Coursera and that something odd was happening. Either Coursera deleted the prof from the course or the prof was running some type of experiment. It now appears to be primarily the latter.

Digital Learning Research Network (dLRN)

George Siemens

PKG would involve collecting and mapping what an individual knows – based on formal learning, workplace learning, and informal learning – and using that graph as a base for providing focused learning materials to address knowledge gaps in order to achieve a qualification or degree. Higher education is digitizing. All aspects of it, including administration, teaching/learning, and research.

The race to platform education

George Siemens

Which means that decisions makers are motivated (partly out of fear of appearing ill-informed, partly out of not wanting to take risks) to adopt approaches that integrate fairly seamlessly across the education spectrum. Across the full spectrum of education – primary, secondary, and higher – we are witnessing a race to develop platforms for content, learning, teaching, and evaluation.

“I can’t teach at Stanford again”

George Siemens

This substance, I believe, is about aligning teaching and learning with the way in which information is created, negotiated, and shared through digital and social networks. Open online courses really mess things up. The force educators/funders/learners to question the value point of traditional education.

What’s next for educational software?

George Siemens

The internet fragments information and antagonizes pre-established information structures. Even when we get information from a variety of sources, we still go through a process of putting these concepts in relation to others. Physical space and physical structure of information determined suitable pedagogies. Information is generally in digital form now, even in traditional classrooms. Most educational software instantiates physical learning spaces.

Information: What am I missing?

George Siemens

What can we do now with information that we could not do in the past? In this case, the “something new&# is the ways in which new tools allow us to mess around with information. What can we do with information that I’ve overlooked? Create information and easily. information. Pull together information from. Augmented reality, information. integrated with other information sources. Information splicing.

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MOOCs: Expectations and Reality

George Siemens

significant media attention, the dialogue around MOOCs has been more theoretical than informed. Fiona Hollands and Devayani Tirthali from Teachers College, Columbia University, have released what is the most informed analysis of MOOCs that I have read to date: MOOCs: Expectations and Reality (.pdf). In spite of (because of?) Research is lagging well behind rhetoric. Fortunately, that is starting to change.

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MOOCs for the win!

George Siemens

” In a follow up post , he expands on this idea: MOOC provides an environment upon which learning with complex learning ecology is experimented and explored, so as to inform learners, technologists, educators and administrators (k-12, HE) and managers, engineers and learners from various businesses on the pros and cons of learning using various platforms or spaces in a complex digital landscape. We interact with information differently today than we have in the past.

Learning and creating knowledge in social networks

George Siemens

In spite of the descriptive, predictive, and informative value of connections and networks, most institutions fail to utilize them well. Networks are the underlying structure for knowledge, learning, and society. We live in networks. We experience them daily. This familiarity results, at times, in overlooking the significant value that connections provide in understanding the world. When a company has a failed product launch, networks and connections can explain why.

This kids, is why hallucinogenics and the internet don’t mix

George Siemens

If Bb is hosting Moodle, depending on the end user agreement, they may be able to gain significant value from data and this data might inform the development of their main platform. I had to do a quick double take on this article (first, to determine if it was April 1, anywhere in the world): Evolution Unbound: Blackboard embraces open source.

New MOOC: Data, Analytics, & Learning

George Siemens

I’ll provide more information soon about the design of the course – we are focusing on dual structured and self-organized approaches to the course I’ve run a range of open courses on a fairly broad range of platforms: D2L, Moodle, Instructure, a mess of social media tools, and (most frequently) with Stephen Downes’ gRSShopper. This fall, together with colleagues, I’ll be offering an open course on edX: Data, Analytics, and Learning.

What does it mean to be human in a digital age?

George Siemens

We’ll provide more information on this soon, in particular a conference that we are organizing at Stanford on this in November. It has been about 30 months now since I took on the role to lead the LINK Research Lab at UTA. (I I have retained a cross appointment with Athabasca University and continue to teach and supervise doctoral students there). It has taken a few years to get fully up and running – hardly surprising.

Social networked learning in complex information environments

George Siemens

In mid-January I spent a wonderful day at American University learning about (and presenting on) the changing educational landscape, technology, and the practices and activities of learners. The slides from my presentation are below: Social Networked Learning

What am I not seeing?

George Siemens

global leader in integrated software and processing solutions and is a leading provider of information availability services. It’s old news that Blackboard has been acquired by a private equity firm for $1.64 billion. An education company being acquired is hardly novel – we are entering a period of dramatic change in education and the change will largely be led from outside of the education system. billion – that is novel. Why is Blackboard worth that much?

A few simple tools I want edu-startups to build

George Siemens

Basically, it combines your location with information layers. Mobile devices are critical in blurring boundaries: virtual/physical worlds, formal/informal learning. Outside of taking courses in XML, programming logic, and Python, I am not a programmer. I understand the importance of being able to program. I can get by with HTML and CSS. There are few things more irritating, however, than having ideas that one is not capable of activating in a meaningful way.

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Activating Latent Knowledge Capacity

George Siemens

Historically, society has created knowledge institutions that mirror what is done with information in a particular era – see McNeely & Wolverton. In this line of reasoning, we can best understand the future of education by understanding what is being done with information today. 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.

A learning system to meet the needs of a complex knowledge era

George Siemens

We gain an understanding of needed learning systems, I argue, by evaluating the attributes of information in digital networks and through focusing on the nature of knowledge needs in complex settings I had the opportunity to stop by edX last. I gave a talk on the type(s) of learning system(s) that are needed to address complex knowledge needs. A video the talk is available here.

WISE: The world’s most important education conference

George Siemens

We are experiencing this in Alberta now where our well-coiffed, but ill-informed and short-sited education, minister Thomas Lukaszuk is slashing funding. Education is constantly confronted with a dual threat: 1. Acknowledgement that it is a foundation for all human progress and able to lift regions and society out of poverty, 2. Public policy and investment that denies the value of education.

What do connections do?

George Siemens

While it is helpful to see a social network analysis of learner interaction in a course, it doesn’t necessarily give either the educators or the students the type of information that they need to understand what they need to do differently (or more of).

This will be fun: Mother of all MOOCs

George Siemens

In discussions with colleagues at TEKRI , it seemed like a good research opportunity in helping us to understanding how technology impacts global social and information networks for learning. More information is available on the course site. Toward the end of CCK11 , one of the participants in a session asked “what’s next&# ?

Rejected: On being disappointed, sorta

George Siemens

A few years later, a colleague that I had worked with in the past informed me of an opportunity at Red River College. However, the focus of this research chair on learning innovation and analytics captured my interest and I decided to apply (obviously informing my colleagues at Athabasca University of my intent. Knowledge institutions have traditionally mirrored the structure and characteristics of information in a particular era (McNeely & Wolverton, 2008).

The Godfather: Gardner Campbell

George Siemens

In true higher education fashion, very little information is forthcoming. Gardner Campbell looms large in educational technology. People who have met him in person know what I mean. He is brilliant. Compassionate. Passionate. And a rare visionary.

Higher Education – is it worth it?

George Siemens

The higher education model is antediluvian, it is no longer aligned with the information and knowledge ecology in which it exists (see Reinventing Knowledge and Reconstructing the University for more detail on this line of thinking). People like Peter Thiel (PayPal) are suggesting people drop out of school and start companies.

A few thoughts on China and education

George Siemens

My daily information habits (google reader, tag in diigo, tweet, etc) simply didn’t work. I just landed in Vancouver after a short trip to Shanghai to present at the IADIS conference hosted by East China Normal University. One of the faculty members ( Ren Youqun , I believe) from this university translated Knowing Knowledge into Chinese.

Researching open online courses

George Siemens

What types of technologies are needed to a) help learners make sense of complex topics, b) manage information overload, c) maintain instructor presence, d) encourage learner autonomy? In fall, we (TEKRI, NRC, UPEI and possibly a few other organizations) are hosting an open online course. The course will run for about 35 weeks and credit options will be available for students in the Athabasca University MDE program and with Georgia Tech.

The Problem with Literature Reviews

George Siemens

I was reading 7000 words when I really only needed the 2000 or 3000 that provided new information. As any student knows, a literature review is the starting point for almost any article or essay. When at the level of writing a thesis or dissertation, a review of literature is critical. However, I have issues with reviews. A few weeks ago, while digging through a whack of literature on sensemaking, the repetitiveness or the process started to irritate me.

The best learning of my life

George Siemens

I enjoyed reading Laura McInerney’s post on the best learning of my life : In the last few weeks I have experienced some of the best learning of my life…But even more amazing for me was that as the presentation was going on I could check information online, pull research articles as they were mentioned, broadcast ideas I had to twitter and get feedback from teacher colleagues here in the UK who were sat in their hous watching tv quite unaware of what I was listening in to.

Join us: Stanford Learning Analytics Summer Institute

George Siemens

Information on joining the live stream: [link]. 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.

The social enterprise?

George Siemens

As information foragers (Miller called us “informavores&# ), people need better tools and technologies to make sense of complexity. We need better analytics that can reveal patterns and connections in information abundance that we may have missed. We need technologies that can automatically detect and raise the profile of interesting patterns within an information stream. An event collapses the information trail into a state of patterns that seem obvious.

Education at a glance: 2011

George Siemens

As the report states: The proportion of working time spent teaching provides information on the amount of time available for activities such as lesson preparation, correction, in-service training and staff meetings. OECD has released the 2011 version of Education at a Glance.

Strata Conference Wrap Up: Big Data, Big Opportunities

George Siemens

and social media configurations) has resulted in new modes of connecting with others and generating and sharing information. Blackboard Analytics : “Transforming data into actionable information. Enabling informed decision making and improved performance.&#.

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Learning Analytics: A foundation for informed change in education

George Siemens

The recording from my session – Learning Analytics: A foundation for informed change in education – is now available. Yesterday, partly to kick of the open course Learning and Knowledge Analytics , I delivered an online presentation as part of the EDUCAUSE ELI Webinar series.

Stanford Learning Analytics Summer Institute

George Siemens

Information and application details are posted on the institute site. MOOCs have been rather selfish, absorbing all of the attention in the edtech space in 2012. It has been all MOOC all the time. In the background, many initiatives have continued to advance including entrepreneurship in education, participatory pedagogies, the maker movement, and learning analytics.