Monday, November 5, 2012

Inspiring encounters

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing two inspiring educators: Dave Cormier (University of Prince Edward Island) and Helen Keegan (University of Salford). It was at a major conference/exhibition for Swedish schools, Skolforum 2012, in Stockholm and we appeared in an event known cosily as The Cage.

Dave Cormier has featured in several posts on this blog before as the man who gave the world the acronym MOOC (working with George Siemens an Stephen Downes) way back in the days when the concept denoted an experiment in connectivist pedagogy rather than the mass market packaged commodity it has recently become in the hands of major university consortia. Helen is famous for innovative experiments in mobile learning and the use of social media in education.

I include three videos below so you can see Dave's and Helen's presentations followed by the interview show I hosted. Sadly we didn't get to sit in real chat show sofas and there was no house band but a fascinating discussion took place.

Here are some notes I made with snippets of wisdom from both of them. First from Dave Cormier's presentation which describes the thinking behind the MOOC movement and the power of the community in education:
  • Prepare students to deal with uncertainty.
  • You can’t collaborate alone.
  • MOOCs are about forming networks around shared interests.
  • Stop measuring learning
  • The community becomes the curriculum
  • MOOCs are community generators
  • 5 steps to succeed in a MOOC: orient yourself, declare who you are, network with peers,form clusters,focus.

Helen Keegan looked at how we can drive student learning by awakening their curiosity and described a highly innovative course she ran in the form of an alternate reality game (ARG):

  • Build education around curiosity.
  • Hashtag has been the biggest gamechanger. Course number with # becomes metadata. Courses as hashtags.
  • All about forming connections. Connections lead to internally motivated learning. Connections create engagement.
  • Network and media literacies. Educator as broker – modelling behaviour.
  • Get out there and things will happen.
  • Howard Rheingold's 5 literacies: attention, critical thinking/filtering, participation, collaboration, network smartness.
  • Losing control can lead to more learning.
  • Learners driving the curriculum.

And finally the interview with them both.

The films are all licensed under Creative Commons CC BY

1 comment:

  1. I greatly enjoyed this blog post of yours. THANKS and greeting from Finland