Angles on Open

I spoke briefly, and almost certainly disjointedly, at the Open VA meeting yesterday. The focus of the panel was “open pedagogy/curriculum” and the whole day was focused on open education concepts. My topic was simply labeled MOOC. As the day progressed I tried to get a sense of the audience and figure out what would I should say to them. I would not say I succeeded. Here’s an attempt at better articulating what I should have said regardless of the audience. Open Pedigree The ability to imagine and actually build the #thoughtvectors cMOOC1 is a result of a long history of open and connected practice. Part of the MOOC was shaped by educational beliefs, part by relationships, part by technology but it’s mostly the result of an almost seamless blending of those three things. I’ll stick to my own relationships, and those specific to #thoughtvectors for brevity’s sake, but every person involved in #thoughtvectors likely has their own entwined stories. In the beginning there was WordPress I spent a lot of time with WordPress and it provided opportunities that changed how I thought about all kinds of things. My first WordPress blog was on an early incarnation of WPMU that was hosted by James Farmer (later of Edublogs) on This led to a later decision to purchase my own hosting […]

Exploring Explored

As part of the Connected Courses MOOC, we were talking a bit about understanding different networks and how to both navigate them and use their vocabulary/tools. The picture above captures a few interesting elements along those lines. I took the picture walking to work. It was one of those fortuitous moments which happen much more often if you’re out looking for them. After getting the nod from the artist (I now know it was Ross from Sure Hand Signs.), I took a few shots and really felt I’d gotten one or two that captured something interesting. I am experimenting a bit with triggering the Flickr Explore algorithm and developing more of an audience for my photos in a way that doesn’t make me feel dirty or hypocritical. Within Flickr I put it up on Flickr when I got in- something I do only if I’m really excited about a photo which happens less often than I’d like. I usually wait until late at night or the weekend to download/upload images. One of the things I did was title it clearly. I also included a variety of tags and added to one group (Flickr Today). It seems adding the picture to lots of groups would end up being punitive in the land of the Explore algorithm because people try to game […]

Connected Courses – Hopes/Dreams

Connected courses asks . . . So what is the real “why” of your course? Why should students take it? How will they be changed by it? What is your discipline’s real “why”? Why does it matter that students take __________ courses or become _________ists? How can digital and networked technologies effectively support the real why of your course? I struggle with the ideas of courses and school in general but here is what I hope for my children and the people I interact with at any time. I hope to both arm people against misfortune/abuse/boredom and provision them for additional opportunities amazement, wonder, and happiness (and the ability to inspire those feelings in others). I don’t know what -ist these people might be. The -ist doesn’t fit for me. Maybe passionate intellectual omnivores? Reflective Renaissance figures? Happy ambidextrous wanderers? Magical weavers of detritus and wonder? I hope to get people to realize their own power and capabilities, to pursue their own interests and connections. I hope to point out options that enable you not to simply take what’s given but to build what you want. That applies to what you might make, how you might make it, and the community within which you might make it. That fits pretty well in the digital spaaaaaace. It’s big. It’s open. It’s […]