Updated: 6/25/2005; 9:36:50 PM.


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  Monday, September 15, 2003

  Open-Ended Manifesto on Research and Learning

Open-Ended Manifesto on Research and Learning [via OLDaily]. Pieces that correlate with last few days thinking:

§2. To live is to learn and to learn is to live.

§4. What we know, we know together.

§9. The distinction between having knowledge and using knowledge will break down. Knowledge is becoming a dynamic phenomenon. Something is only knowledge when it circulates in networks and only when the knowledge facilitates actions. Then it becomes competence.

§16. We need much better tools of reflection to be able to organise and manage in a society where knowledge and symbolic work are central.

§23. To be meaningful, research today has to take place in networks.

§25. A socially meaningful and practically relevant form of human and social science today has to build on a renewal of the tradition of action research. What we need are common forms of reflection, common tools for reflection and reflexive practices that are not only effective but also constantly are a source of new experience and knowledge. We could call it second generation action research.

§27. Research and learning are converging. The distinction between a situation where knowledge is produced or created and a situation where it is used is breaking down. More and more often knowledge is created in the context of its application and use.

  Links on reflective skills

[Follow-up on previous post] Did Google search on reflective skills. Some pointers:

More on: meta-learning 

  Understanding real value of blogging: time, connectivity, need for reflection

Sebastian Fiedler asks How to seed a learning environment that allows for evolutionary growth?:

Most people who kept personal Webpublishing projects (Weblogs, Wikis, etc.) running for months and years can report how certain qualities and benefits only emerged over time. They remember how they were basically talking to themselves at the beginning, how they found a small circle of like -minded authors, how this circle grew through chance meetings and focused search, how their readership grew and got more diverse, and so on.

Now, my question is: what parts of this evolutionary growth model could we hope to seed and watch unfold over the period of a semester? ... or will we never be able to touch the "real potential" of personal and collaborative Webpublishing in formal instructional settings because of the usual constraints on time, pace and structure?

Sebastien Paquet comments:

Sebastian offers an interesting questioning on how the constraints of formal education settings make it difficult to fruitfully integrate personal webpublishing in student activities. Time is one of the key issues.

From my experience it does seem hard to reap the benefits of personal webpublishing within a short timeframe. It easily took me four months to integrate myself into the network - and I spent a lot of that time in the blogosphere, something a time-pressured student is unlikely to be able or willing do.

I agree: real value of blogging unfolds with time. This would create problem in any setting with time pressures and low initial motivation for blogging, not only in the classroom. The first thing I thought about was introducing weblogs in a company: most of the people I talk with about weblogs say "sounds interesting, but I don't have time". 

Even more complicated, introducing weblogs in any "protected" environment, such as class-only access server (or Intranet), decreases the probability of establishing critical number of meaningful connections.

So, what I would do? Quick brainstorm...

  • Integrate weblogs with meaningful activities: use weblogs as communication medium (e.g. by asking team to document design decisions), eliminate other assignments...
  • Simulate/stimulate connections: ask outside experts to comment on classroom blogs, ask students to comment on each others weblogs, reveal posts close to each other by using topics/categories...

We can work it out in more detail, but I'd like to come back to Sebastian's original question "how do we address and foster the necessary reflexivity in our novice learners and aspiring practitioners?". I wonder what if weblogs do not provide a good environment for developing reflective skills, but simply work as "reflection capturing and amplifying devices" for people with existing need and skills for reflection? Where do we start when?

I'd love to see any good references about understanding the nature of reflexivity and techniques that foster it. I just realised that even this topic has been an important part of my thinking for several years, I don't know much about existing literature on it. To be more specific I'm interested why for some people reflection seems to be an integral activity (e.g. I have no idea how did I develop reflective skills), while others need support to develop it?

  New blogs: Denham Grey and Elliott Masie

The greatest finding of last week: weblogs by people I really wanted to see blogging.

The first one is Denham Grey. I guess I don't have to explain much for regular readers of my weblog :) Denham is one of the best critics of blogging. His questions provoke searching for true values of blogging and artuculating them.

To make it easier: a sample of my posts provoked by Denham (in reverse chronological order)

The second weblog is not a new one, but I found it only recently. It's by Elliott Masie.

Before I started blogging, TechLearn TRENDS - the newsletter published by The MASIE center - was one of my regular sources of unexpected insights about learning. I'm curious to see how it will work with new medium :)

More on: blog new 

  KMSS03: back home

I'm back from KM Summer School 2003. Didn't have much time to write :) I have several posts drafted, they should be on-line soon.

I managed to check my news aggregator several times - a lot of interesting things, hope to find time to comment.

More on: KMSS life 

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© Copyright 2002-2005 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

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