George Siemens

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White House: Innovation in Higher Education

George Siemens

The event organizers made it clear that no media or social media was allowed during the event in order to have an open brainstorming session. A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to the White House. The invitation was somewhat cryptic, but basically stated that the focus on the meeting was on quality and innovation.

Multiple pathways: Blending xMOOCs & cMOOCs

George Siemens

As part of this process, we organized a designjam recently bringing together 20 or so folks to think through the design process. I’m running a MOOC on edX in fall on Data Analytics & Learning (registration will be open soon).

The future of higher education and other imponderables

George Siemens

Georgia Tech’s C21U is among the more ambitious and better organized centres that I’ve seen. A group of organizations and individuals are hosting an open online course starting Oct 8, 2012.

Remaking education in the image of our desires

George Siemens

Organizations that focus on learner and learner support are missing. The current generation of students will witness the remaking of our education system.

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

George Siemens

The shift to networks is transformative in how a society organizes itself (see Wellman’s Little Boxes, Glocalization, and Networked Individualism – pdf). Students should see what the organization sees.

Congrats to Paul-Olivier Dehaye: MassiveTeaching

George Siemens

Hundreds, likely thousands, of faculty have taught MOOCs, often having to toe the line of terms and conditions set by an organization that doesn’t share the ideals, community, and egalitarianism that define universities (you can include me in that list). Regardless, Dehaye has started a conversation, raised a real concern, pushed buttons, and put a spotlight on unfair or opaque practices by organizations who are growing in influence in education.

Duplication theory of educational value

George Siemens

Higher education should also serve a personal role in helping people discover ideals, even truths, by which to organize and live their lives. Higher education faces a value crisis. Value is a fuzzy concept. In theory, I can purchase a $3 steak that isn’t a good value.

Digital Learning Research Network (dLRN)

George Siemens

Universities/organizations and people involved: Carnegie Mellon University (Carolyn Rose). Higher education is digitizing. All aspects of it, including administration, teaching/learning, and research. The process of becoming digital has important implications for how learning occurs and how research happens and how it is shared. I’m happy to announce the formation of the digital Learning Research Network (dLRN), funded by a $1.6m

Google+ – fundamental misunderstanding of networks?

George Siemens

The idea of “circles&# is somewhat related to Twitter Lists and is helpful for organizing friends/colleagues and tracking different activity streams. 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.

Instructure: we know. we learn.

George Siemens

It took me about two hours to setup and organize my first course in the platform. I’ve had several interactions with Instructure and find that they are an organization that is fuelled by a combination of energy, ambition, and a touch of bravado/boldness/audacity.

What’s next for educational software?

George Siemens

we’ve been working on what we feel is a learning system (educational software) that represents the type of learning needed by individuals and organizations today. Most educational software instantiates physical learning spaces. This is reflected in learning management systems, virtual classrooms, and interactive whiteboards. Essentially, we use new tools to do the work of old tools and largely fail, at first, to identify and advance the unique affordances of new technology.

Learning and creating knowledge in social networks

George Siemens

Higher education is in a broad swing from hierarchical systems of organizations to network structures. 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.

Done doing keynotes

George Siemens

I’d like to say a particular thank you to the many conference organizers that have extended invitations over the past decade as well as the many audience members that have paid me the honour of their attention. I hope that this post doesn’t come across as excessively self-serving. I’m trying to communicate a change in my professional interest to a group of folks that have provided me with many opportunities.

Personal Learner Knowledge Graph

George Siemens

In a sense, PLKG is like the semantic web or Google Knowledge Graph: a connected model of learner knowledge that can be navigated and assessed and ultimately “verified” by some organization in order to give a degree or designation (or something like it).

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.

Journal of Learning Analytics

George Siemens

I have a short introduction to SoLAR and the main activities of the organization and the role (we hope) it plays in bringing together technical and social domains of learning Interest in learning analytics is growing. It’s a data centric world and will only become more so in the future.

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. This department is lead by Prof Pete Smith and is a sister organization to LINK. Technology is changing faster than we can evolve individually and faster than we can re-organize socially. It has been about 30 months now since I took on the role to lead the LINK Research Lab at UTA. (I

Lots of free learnin’ going on

George Siemens

I’m helping to organize an online conference – Follow the Sun – a multi-day, 24 hour per day, online conference with keynotes addressing various aspects of how technology is influencing various knowledge domains 2012 is shaping up to be a good year for open online learning experiences (Sanford is actively promoting open courses , David Wiley is running an openness in education course , Alec Couros will likely be doing his EC&I831 again, etc.).

Learner self-organization in complex knowledge settings

George Siemens

Consider learning: it can be organized for us or we, as individuals, can organize ourselves. In higher education, we have largely ignored the self-organizing aspect of learner activity. I’m a fan of dichotomies, recognizing very well the weaknesses they hold.

Open presentations on MOOCs and MOOC Research Initiative

George Siemens

As part of the MOOC Research Initiative , I’m organizing two open events this coming week: Oct 22, 11 am Mountain Time (see conversions ): An Overview of the MOOC Research Initiative: The project, literature, and landscape. Several presentations this next week that might be of interest to readers: 1. Open Access Week at Athabasca University. Daily presentations starting Oct 21 on MOOCs, OERs, open access, libraries, and more. Schedule and access details have now been posted.

WISE: The world’s most important education conference

George Siemens

WISE is a global event, though the organizers describe it as a movement and platform rather than a conference. 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. When society faces a problem, whether racism, violence, or inequality, education is the first scapegoat and the first solution.

What do connections do?

George Siemens

As Udacity creates similar connections to other education companies and organization, it quickly becomes apparent that the network being created is one of validation and lockin, rather than innovation and a new vision for learning.

MOOCs: Scaling Corporate Learning

George Siemens

Over the past year, organizations such as Google, GE, Cisco, McAfee, Bank of America, AXA, and AT&T have started to experiment with MOOCs. To address this lack of dialogue in this space, we are organizing an online conference on MOOCs: Scaling Corporate Learning. While MOOCs have gained the interest and attention of higher education, they have failed to make much of an impact on corporate learning. That is starting to change.

Rejected: On being disappointed, sorta

George Siemens

Several prominent researchers and organizations are now exploring next-generation online and hybrid learning models based social networked technologies: Goodyear (2011); SocialLearn (The Open University) 2011; and OpenClass (Pearson, n.d.). How do learners self-organize, through social and technological means, in complex and information abundant environments? Corporate partnerships with organizations involved in learning analytics.

On Research and Academic Diversity

George Siemens

One approach is to emphasize loosely coupled networks organized by ideals through social media. This isn’t to discount social networked organization or alt-ac. In my previous post, I mentioned the release of our report Preparing for the Digital University.

Blackboard’s identity crisis, Desire2Learn’s optimism, and Instructure’s coolness

George Siemens

They are an organization that knows what/who they are (an LMS vendor) and have not wandered from their mission since they started. Since Blackboard announced its acquisition of several Moodle partners, numerous voices have chimed in to explore what it means to education. In particular, Michael Fieldstein (as usual) has a wide ranging and thoughtful response: What the heck happened? and Phil Hill captures the tone/responses from major players.

Connected Learning: What have they done with Alec, Will, Vicki?

George Siemens

This might be a simple oversight on the part of the organizers – i.e. get the message of a new initiative out quickly. If I was Alec Couros, Will Richardson, Vicki Davis, Steve Hargadon, or any of the thousands of K-12 educators that have been pushing for networked/connected learning for years (in Will’s case, more than a decade), I’d be fairly irritated to have been written out of the vision of connected learning that is now emerging from DML.

A few thoughts on China and education

George Siemens

This forecast seems to vary a fair bit, depending on how much the speaker or organization is trying to scare listeners with the west to east power shift. 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

In fall, we (TEKRI, NRC, UPEI and possibly a few other organizations) are hosting an open online course. What are the habits and patterns of learner self-organization in open online courses? 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. I’ll post links to those registration pages as soon as they are available.

Join us: Stanford Learning Analytics Summer Institute

George Siemens

Next week, we ( SoLAR , IEDMS and others) are organizing a Learning Analytics Summer Institute (LASI). In response, LASI is organizing a series of local events and live-streamed keynotes. 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.

The social enterprise?

George Siemens

The conference organizers have pulled together an excellent series of interviews with speakers. However, if the goal of an organization is to make sense of complexity in order to act meaningfully in the pursuit of goals, then we need to look beyond social mechanisms. It’s in the human/computer sensemaking and analytics systems that allow people (and organizations) to orient themselves to complexity and gain coherence in fragmented information settings

Strata Conference Wrap Up: Big Data, Big Opportunities

George Siemens

Through social network analysis (email, LinkedIn, Facebook) organizations are able to gain a better understanding of the social and collaboration fabric that influences how work gets done. In early February, I attended the Strata Conference in Santa Clara.

Data 52

Why do synchronous web tools suck?

George Siemens

It’s getting embarrassing and frustrating as a MOOC organizer. Do these organizations do user testing? We are several weeks into the Change open online course. We have an outstanding speaker list. But, unfortunately, we’ve had issues every week with our live online sessions. We’ve looked at WizIQ, Vyew, and Big Blue Button. All have been terrible failures. So we tried FuzeMeeting today. Another horrible crash and burn.

Tools 45

WISE Panel: Can MOOCs democratize higher education?

George Siemens

Or perhaps, less of a traditional view of teachers and more teachers overall as we can self organize and teach each other. The recording from the Can MOOCs democratize higher education? panel at WISE is available here. Donald Clark shares his experience of the event as a whole , including our panel. One interesting take away from WISE13 was how much people still want a teacher.

The startups are circling education

George Siemens

Course organizers face a key question – how to create a marginally coherent narrative in open courses? The field of education (primary, secondary, higher) needs to embrace itself for an onslaught of technology startups. Where educators have failed, entrepreneurs see opportunity. Seb Schmoller points to an “educational technology startup&# and comments: What interests me is whether Know Labs was already involved (or even there?)

Open Symposium: Policy and Strategy for Learning Analytics Deployment

George Siemens

We ( SoLAR ) are organizing an online symposium on Policy and Strategy for Learning Analytics Deployment. International organizations such as OECD collect and compare performance of learners in the primary and secondary levels.

Social and connective lock-in

George Siemens

Each new connection or connection-format that is under the control of an organization increases the value for the end user. If you’ve been involved in the open Connectivism and Connective Knowledge courses, you’ve likely heard Stephen and I rant on some variation of “the knowledge is in the connections&# or “the knowledge is the connections&#.

Stanford Learning Analytics Summer Institute

George Siemens

The Learning Analytics Summer Institute (LASI) is a strategic five-day event, July 1-5, 2013, co-organized by SoLAR and Stanford University. 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.

Social Networks & Learning: Research Seminar

George Siemens

As a result, we are organizing a similar event this year. Last year, TEKRI and Athabasca University hosted a week-long research seminar on networks and learning. The event was quite successful. The seminar will be held in Edmonton from June 20-24 and is open to students and faculty. It’s an opportunity for review of existing and leading research as well as intensive discussion about the roles of social media and networks in education.

Why #Occupy will fail

George Siemens

The movement is now 6 weeks old, and with that small amount of maturity, comes new models of organization and structure. Let ideas emerge, experiment with new models of democracy, and take advantage of self-organization and the passion of connected individuals. Anytime individuals get together to reclaim social justice and fairness or to empower themselves in the light of gross inequalities, I’m heartened and encouraged.