I participated in CCK 11 and the facilitators were Stephen Downes and George Siemens. The course was unlike any learning experience I had ever had before. Here’s why:
1. Changed relationship between teacher & learner
Teacher, as the term is usually understood, is someone who teaches. In CCK 11, that definition gave way to a multiplicity of understandings, articulated by Stephen Downes here:
Stephen Downes: (Long Quote) “We don’t need no educator: The role of the teacher in today’s online education
November 13, 2011
Keynote presentation delivered to NFF konferansen: Utdanning i bevegelse, Oslo, Norway.
Downes: “How often do we read about the importance of teachers in education? It must be every day, it seems. We are told about “strong empirical evidence that teachers are the most important school-based determinant of student achievement” again and again.
The problem with the educational system, it is argued, is that teachers need to be held accountable. We are told we must fire incompetent teachers. Not just in the United States, but in the UK and elsewhere, the concern is that bad teachers must go.
The problem with focusing on the role of the teacher, from my perspective, is that it misses the point. Though there may still be thousands of people employed today with the job title of “teacher” or “educator”, it is misleading to suggests that all, or even most, aspects of providing an education should, or could, be placed into the hands of these individuals.” (end of Quote)
As you can see, there was never a dull moment in CCK11. I even wrote an imagined interview with Stephen, the first of many such pieces I would later create to help me to understand something from a perspective of interior dialogue.
2. In a MOOC like CCK11, learning is distributed, chaotic, emergent.
For me, there was a huge amount of interaction, introspection, and discovery of how sharing makes everyone better, in an exponential kind of way. I’m saying that the experience was like having access to some of the most intelligent minds in the universe, and being able to contribute to the learning of such people, as well as have my own learning affected positively, was then, and still today, absolutely amazing.
Learners are usually limited by the knowledge of the teacher. Rarely does a student know more than the teacher, but the sum of our collective sharing yielded a much greater, richer, and enduring experiential learning process.
3. The learners are expected to create, grow, expand domain and share personal sensemaking through artifact creation. I have successfully brought this aspect of connectivism into my own teaching of English as a Foreign Language, here in Chile, at the end of the world. My students collaborate on everything I can possibly think of so that the learning will be deeper, durable, and personally significant.
Ok, that’s enough of my experiences as a learner. Let’s now take a look at what George siemens has prepared on the topic of designing and running a MOOC. You are in for a treat…trust me..
Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the Head of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago, Chile.
He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago, free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation based professional development for teachers, by teachers. EdCamp Santiago 2012 was held at Universidad Mayor in Santiago.Thomas was recently selected for membership in the Comunidad de Innovación Escolar of the Foundation Telefónica and Foundation Educación 2020. It is a network that brings together education professionals concerned with developing and strengthening the capacities of their educational communities through creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Thomas is also a past member (2011-2012) of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he also serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile.
Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. Thus far, he has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published a total of forty six (46) books overall.
The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr.
Currently, there are two ways to find out what learning in a massive, open, online course is like: One, you can participate in such a course, provided you have the time necessary to invest in such a learning experience. When your time is the limited and precious commodity that we all know it to be, you may not be able to participate, however.
Don’t feel bad about that. That’s life, and for the majority of us mortals, we work for a living in a world that will not let us simply employ our time in any pursuit. We have to be selective, to be balanced with the way in which we invest our time. Families, friends, hobbies, rest & relaxation demand an equal share of the 24 hour clock. So, if we can’t participate in a MOOC, that leaves option two available.
Option Two? You can read this book…
My #CCK11 Experience
by Thomas Jerome Baker
Stephen: “On Jan. 17 George Siemens and I will launch the third offering of our online course called ‘Connectivism and Connective Knowledge’ – or CCK11. We use the term ‘connectivism’ to describe a network-based pedagogy. The course itself uses connectivist principles and is therefore an instantiation of the philosophy of teaching and learning we both espouse.” This book is the result of my participation in the #CCK11 course…
The global search for high-quality education, embedded in high-performing education systems, has taken on mythical proportions, almost resembling the alchemists’ quest to turn common metals into gold.
It is my hope that the present day search for global education, equitable and providing equality of opportunity for all, shall not cease until the “gold” we seek, has been found.
I therefore dedicate this book to all the educators, researchers, parents and students the world over, who strive to achieve this elusive goal,high-quality education for all the citizens of the world.
In this endeavour, it is my belief that the International Baccalaureate merits a closer look, based on their more than 40 year history of delivering consistently excellent results.
I add that all of the reflections and views in this book are mine alone, unless otherwise noted, and can not be attributed to my employer or any other organization I am affiliated with, past or present. For any errors or oversights, I bear the complete responsibility.