This is the default category for all posts in my #CCK11 blog

Pingback in #CCK11

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Jaap has referred to pingback in his latest post (which also touches on  many other interesting points), and I would like to see further discussion of the extent to which pingback (and trackback) meet the needs for support of a distributed networked conversation.

While it seems to me that the basic structure provided by pingback/trackback tools is exactly what Stephen is calling for, there are problems with take-up and implementation which are preventing them from really doing the job.

With regard to take-up, not  everyone implements them and so we can’t just take it for granted that a blog post in response to another will actually show up as part of the conversation. And with regard to implementation, when pingback and/or trackback are used the excerpt that shows up as a comment in the original post is often not illuminating. Is there any way to ensure that all participants implement these tools and that the excerpts are sufficient to allow the reader to decide whether or not to click through for more detail?

Missing Posts

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

A couple of my earlier posts (this and this) didn’t get picked up – perhaps because I used the cck11 tag only as a category (and in the blog url) rather than in the content or title of the post.

(And adding it retroactively didn’t seem to work either)

Distributing the Dialogues

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

In the discussion thread Dialogues (help!) there has been some mention of the tendency of the cck11 network to concentrate itself in the gRSShopper site and perhaps also on Facebook. In the interest of encouraging a more distributed network, I suggest that when a discussion has been started by commenting on the gRSShopper listing of a blog post (is there any other way?) subsequent contributions to the discussion be made as comments on the original post rather than on the gRSShopper site.

Groups vs. Networks

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Ken Anderson is puzzled by some of Stephen Downes’ ideas on different kinds of social collective. I missed the Feb 18 Elluminate session in cck11 that Ken refers to but I do recall earlier postings from Stephen on what he calls Groups vs Networks and also some comments he made in one of the PLENK2010 sessions regarding the virtues of a “flat” network (with all nodes having a similar scale of connectivity) over the power law pattern of a scale-free network in which  small fractions of the nodes are relatively highly connected. And I recall being puzzled at the time by Stephen’s preference for “stability” of the flatter network over the kind of rapid propagation of change (“cascade” phenomena) that is facilitated by the power law distribution of connectivity. I don’t recall if I spoke up at the time but I was tempted to ask why cascades of new ideas are not to be encouraged and where the line should be drawn between “stability” and “stagnation”. Any comments here to help with these issues would be welcome.

PLENKs in #CCK11

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

This post by LarsWas (with further discussion here) is a good intro to the topic of Week6 (which seems to be a re-cap of #PLENK2010).

I agree with the view that, as used now, gRSShopper is hardly less centralized than Moodle. It has benefits in some areas but what it does by way of aggregation could mostly be added to Moodle and there are definitely other areas in which it is less polished as well (or at least where some people may prefer Moodle’s design choices). But I do believe that the functionality that Stephen demonstrates with gRSShopper is something that would be useful for many of us. In fact I have tried to install it myself but had trouble getting all the necessary PERL pieces in place. Perhaps a php version would be easier to install in most web hosting environments (and would also then be more compatible with both Moodle and WordPress).

Learning Theories

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

As posted in more detail on my main site I tend to see what educators call “theories” of learning more as ideologies rather than theories in the scientific sense. This is especially true of Connectivism, but if anyone can point me to an instance of its use as a theory in the scientific sense of providing a method for making experimentally testable predictions, then I would certainly welcome that.

While I share Ken Anderson’s skepticism about Connectivism as a *theory* (and feel the same way about other “Learning Theories” as well), I do find it attractive as an ideology and as a practice. One aspect of that ideology, as I see it, is to value and support learning through a process of mutual interaction between independent agents. This does imply expecting those who want support for a different kind of process to find it elsewhere and I don’t see how failure to “support” all learning styles can be held against the proponents of this one.

I interpret the abandonment of Moodle in the CCK11 course as one step in the process of experimenting with more distributed control and organization. It is incomplete of course since replacing Moodle with gRSShopper, while forcing discussion threads out onto individual blogs, still does not eliminate the focus of control. Presumably the next step is to give us all implementations of gRSShopper (or equivalently to add more features to our current RSS aggregators) so that any one of our blog sites can be used in place of this one and so that statements like “I will kick you off this site” will become essentially empty threats.(Not quite though since in a scale-free network the controllers of some nodes will always have more power than others)

Starting CCK11

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

I am not convinced by Connectivism as a theory, but am attracted to it as a practice – especially as exemplified by Stephen Downes – and my main reason for enrolling here is to learn more by experience of how other people engage in that practice.

Hello world!

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Welcome to the CCK11 sub-site of my main blog site. This was its auto-generated first post.