Saturday, February 18, 2006

more quotes & notes

More quotes & notes from around:

A blog is, at minimum, a presentation of a repository of journal entries. But since those entries can be selectively reflect on other posts, the blog can occupy the entire eportfolio space.

I had (fleetingly) hoped we could have one repository, or give the end user the impression of one repository. But, with in my personal portfolio experiments I've come to understand that there will be multiple repositories and multiple presentations ('a multi-folio').
-Nils Peterson, 7-2005


Connectivism is the integration of principles explored by chaos, network, and complexity and self-organization theories. Learning is a process that occurs within nebulous environments of shifting core elements – not entirely under the control of the individual. Learning (defined as actionable knowledge) can reside outside of ourselves (within an organization or a database), is focused on connecting specialized information sets, and the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing.

Connectivism is driven by the understanding that decisions are based on rapidly altering foundations. New information is continually being acquired. The ability to draw distinctions between important and unimportant information is vital. The ability to recognize when new information alters the landscape based on decisions made yesterday is also critical.

George Siemens, 2004


Other links:

UAE bloggers.

Gami, North Central College, Illinois.


Berube, M. (2005, Oct. 11). Blogging: An academic question. Post & comments. Michael Berube Online. Accessed 2-06.

Campbell, A. (2005, Oct. 10). Classroom blogging: Two fundamental approaches. dekita. org. Accessed 2-06.

Glogoff, S. (2005, July). Instructional Blogging:
Promoting Interactivity, Student-Centered Learning, and Peer Input
Innovate: Journal of Online Education. Nova Southeastern University. Log-in required. Accessed 2-06.

Pollard, D. (2005, Dec. 15). Blogging's simple future. How to save the world. Accessed 2-06.

Seimens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. elearnspace. Accessed 2-06.

Tribble, I. (2005, July 8). Bloggers need not apply. Chronicle of Higher Education. Accessed 2-05.


Any site that attracts a stable group of contributors in its comments threads creates a sense of stake-holding among the participants. It’s the tension in the online public sphere. On one hand, a huge agora where unlike opinions and backgrounds clash and intermingle, sometimes productively, sometimes not. On the other hand, online discourse is also a cradle that nurtures connections, a shared sense of mutual community, among small subsets of users.
-Tim Burke, Easily Distracted, 11-05


The pertinent question for bloggers is simply, Why? What is the purpose of broadcasting one's unfiltered thoughts to the whole wired world? It's not hard to imagine legitimate, constructive applications for such a forum. But it's also not hard to find examples of the worst kinds of uses.

A blog easily becomes a therapeutic outlet, a place to vent petty gripes and frustrations stemming from congested traffic, rude sales clerks, or unpleasant national news. It becomes an open diary or confessional booth, where inward thoughts are publicly aired.

Worst of all, for professional academics, it's a publishing medium with no vetting process, no review board, and no editor. The author is the sole judge of what constitutes publishable material, and the medium allows for instantaneous distribution. After wrapping up a juicy rant at 3 a.m., it only takes a few clicks to put it into global circulation.
Ian Tribble, 2005)


A key theme at last year’s conference was the idea of a “virtual global university”—not in the sense of one more institution being formed to compete with all the other brick-and-mortar and online schools, but rather as an organic, emergent property resulting from crossing all these disciplinary, institutional, cultural, and national borders, as a phenomenon arising of its own due to information technology, globalization, and new transdisciplinary ideas and research programs. Participants say it’s been the most enjoyable activity they’ve been engaged in as a member of the academic community because it is so free-wheeling and yet intellectually challenging and productive, too. It is as Matthew Greenfield says in his comments: “Real academic innovation within a discipline almost always depends on stimulation from outside that discipline. I am not even talking about true interdisciplinarity….
-Eric Weislogel, 1-2006


There’s a lot of talk in Philadelphia (and elsewhere) about Franklin this week. That spirit of generative amateurism, exploratory practical knowledge, and so on. That’s the dream that still lies somewhere deep in the DNA of scholarly life and which fights its way to the surface now and again. I have no idea how to make it more than a brief gasp of freedom in between episodes of stricture, how to change the spirit and culture of inquiry in subtle but pervasive ways. There are few real villains arrayed against that shift, much as it would be convenient to think otherwise. Mostly it is responsible people behaving responsibly, or busy, productive people whose own arrangements work well enough for them, well enough that they don’t really see any need for sustained change.
-Tim Burke, 1-2006

Friday, February 17, 2006

old linked quotes

from: Teaching teachers to use weblogs (2005).

On weblogs as a medium

My favorite part about working with class weblogs in addition to personal weblogs is that you can compare how different individuals approach the same topic from unique perspectives. I recently read sixteen essays about the same experience (a class trip), and I can't find two identical responses. Putting these varied accounts together on one weblog creates a kind of mosaic effect, and I hope it is one other readers will also enjoy.
-Jessica Montgomerie, CESL teacher, 2005

As blogs enter mainstream public consciousness from the margins of the Internet where they originated, they bring a hidden and newly awakened army of interactive participants who may be experiencing the kinds of unsettling (to the powers that be) critical consciousness that is within the goals of the increasingly democratized culture such as Paulo Freire as an educator sought to foster.
-C. Boese (n.d.)

Teacher's presence

Web presence is in essence the gift to see ourselves as others see us, enhanced uniquely by the Internet. It might be more precisely defined as an ability to convey messages in text, sound, and image over the Internet through means of communicating asynchronously through fixed URLs. It used to be that to establish Web presence, one had to be in that group of cognoscenti known as "Webmasters" who created sites in HTML code and then uploaded files manually to host servers with restricted access. But nowadays, anyone with an Internet connection can be a "Webmaster" in a matter of minutes.
-Vance Stevens (2005)

Shortly after I began producing Rebecca's Pocket I noticed two side effects I had not expected. First, I discovered my own interests. I thought I knew what I was interested in, but after linking stories for a few months I could see that I was much more interested in science, archaeology, and issues of injustice than I had realized. More importantly, I began to value more highly my own point of view. In compusing my link text every day I carefully considered my own opinions and ideas, and I began to feel that my perspective was unique and important.
-Rebecca Blood (2000)

...the online comments feature accompanying blog use links the teacher to a virtual community on a global scale for support and feedback. In her famous diary, "Teacher", arguably the most influential of all teacher diaries ever written, Sylvia Ashton-Warner (1963:213) writes of her diary: "Its purpose has been already fulfilled. I was lonely, professionally. I wanted gifted, intimate understanding. I've had it. I'm no longer professionally alone." These words illustrate how a diary (e.g. a blog) may be used for both research and teacher training in the absence of collegiate body or professional development schemes...the comments feature enables the teacher to invite an unlimited community of practitioners to join in the dialogue, reaching out to a very real global net of professional knowledge and support.
-R. Suzuki (2004)

Weblogs in a writing program

...while writing pedagogy often emphasises the need to attend to audience and, perhaps, to have a conception of 'the ideal reader', the fact remains that students in school-based writing classes typically have no authentic, tangible audience. Moreover, there is little or nothing in writing pedagogy that invites students to begin from their concrete membership of affinity groups, or to go about establishing a constituency for real life (non artificial) purposes. On the contrary, much of the authentic writing students do in school settings for real audiences is ultra vires and discounted, if not punished.
-C. Lankshear & M. Knobel (2003) is evident that so far as matters of purpose and a concern for quality are concerned the 'orders' evident in the blogging world and the world of classroom writing pedagogy are almost neatly reversed. Bloggers begin from a felt sense of purpose and take it from there, or else simply stop blogging. Writing pedagogy usually does not presume purpose, but somehow hopes to prepare learners for being effective writers in contexts where they do encounter serious purpose. Likewise, bloggers begin with a point of view they want to share with others. Without this there is no cogent basis from which to blog. By contrast, so much powerful writing pedagogy actually sets out from the assumption that student points of view need to be developed, shaped up, or made more worthy of attention.
-C. Lankshear & M. Knobel (2003)

Personal publishing allows for incorporated subversion and volatile design in online education. It's online unplugged. Indeed, the socially and individually constructivist principles which supposedly inform current teaching practice (but which, in fact, rarely do) find their closest allies in the "edit this page" button of a wiki or the unedited expression and knowledge network development of a weblog.
-James Farmer (2003)

Teachers & Technology is often remarked that teachers, while often among society's most liberal members, are also, as keepers and carriers of tradition, at the same time conservative and slow to change...While the growth of technology has been rapid, teachers have been generally slow to adopt this technology, and even slower to make productive use of it.
-Gratton, 1998, quoted in Lam, 2000

...if you don't have a strong curriculum as a foundation, technology will do little to improve your schools and might even have a negative impact.
-Van Cooley, 1998

If you're a teacher, you don't want to step into a classroom with something you don't know how it works, because you look like an idiot. It's already stressful to use something in a classroom, but if you don't know [how to use it], that's adding more stress.
-Teacher, quoted in Lam, 2000

The thing that puzzles me is, when every student is facing the screen, then how am I going to talk to them, through e-mail? So I have to learn the pedagogy first, the classroom teaching method using computers.
-Teacher, quoted in Lam, 2000

Much as policymakers and administrators, teachers are very concerned about efficiency. But their criteria for efficiency are anchored in classrooms. In coping with conflicting goals in an age-graded organization, teachers use criteria forged out of their experiences to decide which electronic tools they should use routinely. Teachers ask: Is the machine simple enough for me to learn quickly? Can it be used in more than one situation? Is it reliable or does it break down often? If it breaks down, do I have to fix it or will someone else repair it? How much time and energy do I have to envest in learning to use the machine vs. the return it will have for my students? When students use the machine, will there be disruption? Will it maintain or compromise my authority to maintain order and cultivate learning?
-Larry Cuban (1996).

The main reasons for the teachers' decisions regarding technology seemed to depend on whether the teacher was personally convinced of the benefits of using technology for L2 instruction, a factor that is underemphasized in previous studies...the results of this study indicate that it is unfair to brand teachers as 'technophobic;' they suggest that teachers' decisions regarding technology use are based not on fear but on personal convictions.
Lam, 2000

When you introduce technology into a school, I've found, you have only a small window of time to develop enthusiasm for the new tool before teachers (and administrators) become cynical. And once they grow cynical, you're going to have a hard time turning them around.
-Van Cooley, 1998

The road to success is often fraught with frustration, anger, and even hostility. It takes time and patience to build a community of technology users, but if you persevere, you can find a way to get there.
-Van Cooley, 1998

No matter how many computers are available or how much training teachers have had, there are still substantial numbers who are "talking the talk" but not "walking the walk."
-Byrom and Bingham (pdf)

random links