This course is being taught in September 2011 as a TESOL PPOT course, and yet again in January 2012 for EVO. The course is based more overtly than previously on MOOC precepts, where the M stands not for massive but for miniscule, in an attempt to show that the concept can be adapted successfully on a smaller scale.
In this video where Howard Reingold interviews George Siemens:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMfipxhT_Co&feature=related., George articulates as no one else can the rationale that I've been trying to communicate to previous participants in this course; e.g. "I’m not aware of any research actually that says linear structure produces better outcomes than more chaotic meandering structure. Our intent, based on our theories of learning is to argue that the experience of learning, making sense of that chaos, is actually the heart of the learning experience, but if an instructor makes sense of that chaos for you and gives you all the readings and sets the full path in place for you then to a degree you are eviscerating the learner’s experience because now you’ve made sense of them and all you’ve told them is walk the path that I’ve formed. When it comes to complexity I’m a great fan of letting learner’s hack their way through that path and getting the value of that learning experience and that sense-making process.”
Dan Pink has been drinking from the same Kool Aid. In an interview with Darrel Branson and Tony RIchards at http://www.edtechcrew.net/2011/08/24/ed-tech-crew-171/, Dan says emphatically (at 20:21 to 20:25 in the audio) "Teachers' autonomy here in the United States is being destroyed, it's being crushed." The system (in both education and in industry) is suppressing intrinsic motivations in favor of extrinsic ones, which research shows are not the ones that people in fact respond to (see http://advanceducation.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-cognitive-surplus-drives-us-to.html). MOOCs and courses such as this one seek to leverage the real interests of both teachers and learners to act on self-satisfying drivers in unadulterated contexts.
From 23:18 in that interview,
"If you think about the kinds of problems we give our kids in school, they have certain attributes. Those problems are very clearly defined, they are in a single subject matter, and they have one right answer. That is the nature of many of the problems that our kids solved in school ... Again, (23:40) clearly defined, in a single discipline, and one right answer. I am 47 years old. I do not think I have ever, as an adult had a problem, in my life, that was like that ... the problems that I deal with, at work, in the world, are NEVER like that. They are invariably poorly defined. They are multidisciplinary. It's not like anything ever comes to me in my office and says to me, 'hello, I'm a math problem,' 'hello, I'm an English problem.' They say, 'hello, I'm a big honky problem.' So they are poorly defined, or at least murkily defined. They are multidisciplinary and they often have multiple possible answers none of which are perfect, and those are real problems, and ... giving kids these hermetically sealed problems is not that particularly useful, and I think it's another reason why ... kids are going home to learn, because they are dealing with more interesting problems."
So this course seeks to expose participants to real problems.
See this page for concise information about the spaces we use and the accounts you'll need to optimally benefit from the course. There's a checklist at the bottom of the page (for those who like to tick the boxes :-)
How will we communicate?
Our interaction will take place through Yahoo Group email, twitter, Google+ and Facebook, and comments to each other's blogs and wikis. We can also interact (with almost 700 others) in the EpCoP MOOC.
If you don't have Yahoo and Google IDs, get them please: both are free and easy to obtain following the instructions at the respective sites. Please check our tutorials on the sidebar for more information on how to create your Yahoo and Google IDs (You might be limited in collaborating with participants here via Google Docs without a Google ID).
There are two main communication modes throughout this workshop: asynchronous and synchronous.
Synchronous (live, in-real-time sessions)
Our regular weekly live online meetings take place Sundays at times to be announced after noon GMT.
Live sessions, with guest speakers or in tandem with other online events, take place as shown here:
Yahoo group(YG): This listserv is our prime means of communication. You can edit your membership and choose the e-mail address that you would like group messages be sent to and if you want to receive a daily digest or individual messages.
The Yahoo Group is also accessible through http://multilit.grouply.com/. The Yahoo Group and Grouply interfaces each offer particular affordances, and choice of access is up to the individual.
See the sidebar at right for other aggregation possibilities such as Twitter: hash tags - #evomlit and for matters specific just to this rendition of the course #evomlit11
See this page for concise information about the spaces we use and the accounts you'll need to optimally benefit from the course.
The time for the sessions will be given in GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). There is a clock with GMT time in the sidebar in the right frame of this wiki for you to check the time now where you are located. Please learn your time in GMT :-)
YOU ARE NOT MEANT TO DO EVERYTHING suggested here. There are more readings and activities listed than anyone can be expected do and still hold down a job, raise a family, etc. Just do what you can, keep a blog or journal as portal for a Me-Portfolio, TAG your posts evomlit, and let us know where you are writing so that we can add your feed to our readers. Interact with us in our forums, let us know what you are reading, especially if you find it particularly useful.
If you have questions about the tasks, you are encouraged to post your queries to the YahooGroup, from your own e-mail, or through the POST function of the YahooGroup.
This course is not a "massively" open online course, but it is run on the MOOC philosophy. That is, it caters not only to present EVO participants, but also a (somewhat less than) 'massive' cohort who have either taken the course before or are just interested in the topic. This allows the participants to benefit from a wider network of participants than the relatively smaller group of registrants for the EVO sessions. This method has worked well in the past. Normally we achieve a handful of interactants to work with the registered participants in the course. For more on this philosophy:
Parry, Marc. Online, Bigger Classes May Be Better Classes: Experimenters say diversity means richness. In 'Open Teaching': When the World Is Welcome in the Online Classroom - Technology - The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 29, 2010. Retrieved September 8, 2010 from http://chronicle.com/article/Open-Teaching-When-the/124170/.
It's not a bookstore really, just a page at this wiki. But you'll find there some of our suggestions for good ebook reading. (Tip: Download a pdf and email it to yourself and you can read it on your iPhone.)
Here's the recommended list so far.
Blogs and Bombs by Mark Pegrum (first chapter available in pdf format)
Mediactive by Dan Gillmore
The Future of the Internet and How to Stop it by Jonathan Zittrain
Knowing Knowledge by George Siemens
If you have more suggestions, please leave a comment on the BerryBush Books page.
Here is one place where I articulated the relationships between Massive Open Online Courses and this multiliteracies course, August 17, 2011:
The video that used to be here prior to summer 2011 can be found via the links below: