The intro week of #fslt13 has zipped past and things got off to a good start. Will the substance of the course hold up as well as the intro to the process? There is still a lot to do over the next five weeks but it is much better than starting with a raft of problems!
This is a brief reflection on week 0, from my perspective. What made it work. The team, the participants and the platform. And within these there are many subcategories, of course.
I put the people first: team :: participants. But, there is a continuum and that itself is one of the key features of this course. Guest speakers are participants, some “expert participants” are alumni from last year, tutors are engaging in the discussions, no one has a role that is “pure” one thing and not another.
This goes to my exploration of third space theory as an approach to understanding open online courses – and maybe many other educational phenomena.This is a theme I will return to. We are all hybrids; there is no privileged origin to which we return. As much as we may yearn for some ideal academy or celebrate transiting national or social divisions we all bring the echoes and interpretations of all our many cultures. In one sense everything is always new and in another even the newest shiny gadget has within it all the history and ancestory of its making.
I attended the opening plenary of the CICIN conference to hear John Raftery, ProVC for Student Experience and Douglas Bourne, head of the Development Education Centre at IoE, London. Continue reading →
Graham Attwell makes an important point here, which resonates with work done on university students’ use of the Internet for learning by colleagues at Brookes.
The locus of work or study: the context in which the person engages in online activity is far more important than other more accidental attributes of the individual such as their year of birth or their sex. Yes, year cohorts will have different contexts available, but there are adept and critical users of the internet of all ages, just as there are digitally illiterate “digital natives”.
An interesting question is raised by a Design Pattern problem, Others First, identified by Yishay Mor in the Pattern Language Network wiki:
Parents who create an online identity for themselves that includes any images of and text about their children inevitably create an online identity for those children. The children have no control over how they are presented or who they are presented to.
I include images of my child in online repositories, some open some private. So this led me to ask whether the problem identified, for it is a problem, was expressed to address a narrow and particular issue or a broad and general issue. Continue reading →