Politics: Syrian Revolution… again

I am with the Syrian people who are screaming for freedom, dignity and the right to live decent life. I have survived Syrian system brutality and understand what the young Syrian are passing through. Still, I do not see the Syrian revolution as elegant as the Egyptian revolution. There are many differences. The one I want to highlight in this post is “life”. When I witnessed the Egyptian revolution, I admired how much they valued the life of every single Egyptian person. I have not seen them advocating martyrdom to win the revolution. They called for each one to preserve their life so that they can enjoy the coming freedom. The multitude would cry dearly if ONE person got hurt. On the “We Are All Khaled” website, which has more than 1 million participants, thye lamented every hurt or agony an Egyptian passed through even if it was hunger.

The Syrian revolution is another story. On their website, they call for the Syrian to die for the sake of the revolution. They encourage them to die. I feel so sad when I see someone videoing a hurt person instead of helping him, only to show the world the brutality of the regime. I understand the rationale of their act. I do not agree with it. They want the world to see the brutalities to support the revolution. This is wrong. They should not reply on the support of the world to overthrow the regime. They should rely on themselves. They should protect every Syrian soul. Otherwise they prove that their values are in the wrong place. They will be the new tyrants. They still use the old archaic methods of playing on the nerves, the guilt feeling, the artificial heroism.

This is why I see the Egyptian revolution is more elegant. And this is the difference between the “culture of life” compared to the “culture of death”.

Again, I wish the Syrian get their freedom. They deserve to live in dignity. They are a great people.

Mobile Learning

The organization I’d like to discuss is Apple. The devise that impressed me was the 6th sense tool.

My first encounter with learning with mobile phones was back in 2000 when two Japanese students demonstrated how they used the mobile phone in their learning. Back then, it was still based on the old GSM technology and its real potential was not obvious. Still, it had an impression on me to have anywhere/anytime learning, even if it was a text based.

In 2003, I was amazed with Citrix on iPaq devices. Using the right wireless setup, we were able to connect my iPaq to my office PC through a Citrix add on and run an AutoCAD application on the tiny iPaq device… that impressed me because I was able to follow up on the construction of our new campus anywhere with this device. But the screen was annoyingly small. This gave us the idea that we need to develop an instructional program to train teachers on how to prepare their students to the mobile world. This never materialized.

Until 2010, the mobile phone was nothing but a device that allowed me to make phone calls, text and check my emails. When the iPhone was introduced, it was a new gadget. It did not introduce anything unfamiliar to me… until I saw a demo about its uses in medicine. I was amazed. The doctor gave a patient an iPhone with the right connection and tools to monitor his status 24/7. All data were sent back, wirelessly, to a central server in the doctor’s hospital. When the iPhone detect an abnormal trend in the patient vital indicators, the hospital is notified, an ambulance is sent to where the patient is and remedy is given… although the patient would not know that anything is wrong… In this way, the patient is treated BEFORE he gets sick or get hit by any damaging stroke. That is when I recognized that mobile phone is becoming part of our life and I needed to pay more attention to it as a device, a way of life, a learning tool and an educational item.

The iPhone, and its “younger brother” the iPad has revolutionized mobile connectivity. The number and type of Apps that exists on these devices is shaping our life (here, “our” refers to my family). From real time cooking tips in the kitchen, to showing NetFlex movies in the living room and staying connected with our family wherever we are in the world. It allowed us to live on the risky side of life. We do not have to plan our trips anymore. We pick the right flights, hotel booking, restarants, adventure just when we need them. And we are saving money. We get wealth of information just when we want them. And they are up-to-date. I can enumerates many more.

If nothing else, one App could make the use of mobile computing useful in education: the eBook readers. Imagine students carrying all their academic books (even a full library), notes, learning tools in a small device that weighs less than a pound. Isn’t this alone worth investing in mobile devices at schools?

However, the device that made me speechless and deeply impressed is… let it speak for itself:

 

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Politics: The Syrian Revolution is not a FaceBook Revolution

The Syrian revolution has reached a critical mass needed for its success… but it is not a FaceBook revolution. The people administering their FaceBook pages do not show any type of a Wikipedian nor Facebookian mentality or attitude. They still use the same methods of the traditional revolutionary thought that focuses on history, religion, sympathy, guilt feeling, traditional tribal feelings etc.

The young people on the streets might have that kind or mentality. But you cannot tell because the communication from inside the activists are controlled and limited. My gut feeling tells me that the Wikipedian/Facebookian in Syria, if any, would be in the larger cities like Damascus and Allepo. But neither of these two places have moved effectively on the ground.

All I wish is the the Syrian people get their freedom to soar. They might need another generation to get to where Egyptians are now, but it is worth the wait.

Learning: Connectivism in the eyes of Aboluay

This video describes connectivism in the context of Noosphere, Positive Psychology and Toffler’s ideas.

Acknowledgment

Thanks go to all CCK11 participants for they helped evolve the video to its latest version. It was great fun interacting and learning with you.

References

  • Lopez, S. (2008), “Positive Psychology: Exploring the Best in People”, ISBN: 978-0-275-9935-1.
  • Robinson, K. (2008). The element: How finding your passion changes everything. New York: Viking
  • Samson, P., Pitt, D. (1999). “The Biosphere and Noosphere Reader”, Routledge, ISBN: 0-415-16644-6.
  • Teilhard De Chardin, P. (2008). “The Phenomenon Man”, Harper Perennial Modern Classics, ISBM: 978-0061632655.
  • Toffler, A. (1971), “Future Shock”, Bantam, ISBN: 978-0553277371.
  • Toffler, A. (1984), “The Third Wave”, Bantan, ISBN: 978-0553246988.
  • Topscott, D., (2010), “Growing up digital”, McGraw Hill, ISBN: 978-0-07-150863-6.

Politics: Why Darraa?

I have been wondering why the revolution in Syria started in Daraa… the southern-est city in Syria. Why not Hama,  Homos, Damascus or any other town? Then it hit me: it is the closest city to Jordan… it has access to Wireless telecommunication from Jordan! in other words, access to the Internet from a non-Syrian source!

My next question: does this means the Daraa people had access to the FaceBook page, thus they knew about the revolution before the other cities? Or, does this mean that the revolution in other cities is way underway, but Daraa is the only city that can broadcast what happens because it has access to non-Syrian controlled internet?

I will keep watching for an answer!

Wiki Controlling Insticts – part 1: Me and Wael Ghoneim

Summary: Revolutions is sweeping the Arab world. They are all tagged as the FaceBook revolutions. I agree. FaceBook was a key instrument that created the critical mass required to make the change. in Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and Syria. But not in  Egypt. The Egyptian revolution is a Wikipedia Revolution on FaceBook. This is the first part of the story.

Wael Ghoneim from TEDFirst, let me brag: I am proud that I have had direct contact with Wael Ghoneim, the leader of the young revolution.

Last year, I was part of Google’s Health Speaks project that donates to charity based on translating Wikipedia Health articles from English to another language. I joined the Arabic project. Except for me, all the participants were Egyptians. I was amazed how chaotically organized they were. I say it is a positive note. You could not figure out who is who. People come and go. One person start an article yet someone else would finish it. In any academic book, this is chaotic. Yet, they were able to score the highest charity donation. Through chaos, they mobilized each other to successfully achieve their goal .Just like I imagine the bees work. A lot of chaotic incomprehensible buzz that results in the sweetest honey.

Later, during the revolution, I had a sense that the young faction leading the revolution were working in a similar spirit. I did not relate my sense to reality until Wael made his TED speech and mentioned “Like Wikipedia”.  It stroke me. Wikipedians have a different “mental paradigm” that make them so chaotic, yet so productive. That is when my thesis on “Wikipedian Controlling Instincts” came from! Later about this, for now, let me focus on my brag.

When the relationship between my sense and reality established, I jumped to my Gmail to see if Wael was involved in the Google Health Speaks projects. I did a quick search on the name, and found our 5 threads from Wael in my gmail archive. Unfortunately, I used to delete the old email, if I did not, I would have found more. But the important thing is that I had interactions with him… I had interactions with the Wael… it is a starnge feeling! Feel or pride… it is like saying I shock the hand of Martin Luther King… not once, but five times… even more!

Back to reality. My ego is full enough. When I made this discovery, I went back to the surviving Google Health Speak emails and went throught them. I was amazed to discover that most of the participants in the project were active in inducing and participating the revolution! Amazing. The spirit of working in a google-wikipedia environment is the same spirit that prevailed among the youth of the Egyptian revolution. Not necessarily the same spirit that has driven the other revolution. Somehow different. I will address my observations in another blog. For now, let me enjoy the feeling that I had an interaction with Wael Ghoneim and the other young Egyptian revolutionaries, through a connectivist-like approach.

I leave you with Wael’s TED presentation:

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Short Paper 2: Changing roles of educators

Do you agree their roles [educators] are changing? If so, what are appropriate responses?

Yes, obviously, the educators role is changing. I believe that modern educators should assume one of four roles in a given situation:

Educator as a teacher. That is an educator who directs the learner to learn what the teacher knows, in the precise way the teacher wants. For example: teachers at primary levels who teach basic skills like communication, arithmetic and the like; soldiers in the army  the priest who teaches faith; the trainer who trains industrial operations and so on. I might disagree with this category, but the society and economy still needs them. In this category, the educator will assess competency in a specific area or skill. So, the assessment will be based on the level of mastery of the concept and the evaluation is norm based.

Educator as a facilitator: That is an educator who allows learners to grow intellectually based on the learners abilities and actualities. For example: teachers in art disciplines like architecture or design; teachers in elementary education who focus on students abilities and not weaknesses, personal development specialists, clinical psychiatrists, Doctors teaching medical students, etc. In this category, the educator will assess each learner individually without comparison to other learners. The norm evaluation does not apply here.

Educator as a “Connector”: This is a new emerging role that shifting the basis of certainty is driving.  This is an educator who facilitates expanding the “connectivity” of another person– both “brain-wise” and social-wise. In contrast to the two previous categories, the general tendency in this pardigm is that the topic to be taught is irrelevant. The focus is on incremental knowledge acquired by the learner, no matter what the topic is. For example, a primary school teacher training students on acquiring knowledge when needed and as needed without memorizing it; a trainer who helps adult to break out from the traditional learning habits (i.e. learning happens in classroom or libraries) to become a learner through interacting with individuals or Internet entities through new habits of using technology. This new role necessitates the creation of new assessment models that assess the level of expansion in the person’e network. This is still in its infancy.

Educator as a phantom: This is a new concept that I find difficulty explaining. With the emergence of the concept that knowledge resides in human and in machines, I cannot imagine why we need educators. People and machines should be able to learn on their own. They do not need educators as long as they have developed themselves to be “connected”. This is why I believe any learner who graduate from the third category (i.e. Educator as a “Connector”) will not need any more educators to build new knowledge. Right?

Note: For the sake of simplicity, I will use the term “traditionalist” to refer to the learners influenced by the first two roles, and the “Connectivist” to refer to learners influenced by the last two roles. Whether a person can be both types is out of the scope of this post.

What are impediments to change?

In my opinion, change has happened already. Nothing can stop it. “Connectivists” are around us. They are effective in Wikipedia, working in the Open Source realm, and recently, they were revolting in Egypt. However, three factors are slowing the process of recognizing and accepting the change:

(1) Each compares each other using the wrong rules. Each type condemsn the other type based on their own value set. Traditionalists have many argument why connectivists will never prevail because they are not connectivists themselves and they do not have connectivist attitude nor competancies. Conversely, connectivists find traditionalists wastes so much time on learning information that is obsolete. It is like the traditions “The West is the West and the East is the East and they will never meet!”.

(2) The strong drive of the people concerned to have a single unified system that works in all situation, where only one method should prevail. In other words, the need to have a system that fits to the accepted norm. I think following “Give God what is for God, and Caesar what is for Caesar” model is far more effective.

(3) The two type refuse to interact together. For example, a “Connectivist” will never participate in a course like MOOC (and if they do, they drop out quickly) because they find such a course too limiting. While a traditionalis will not get involved in an activity like Wikipedia because it defies their basic beliefs.

How can current trends be best utilized to serve in the traditional role of educator or designer?

For the traditional educator role, the best approach is to do nothing. The “Connectivist” group did not reach a critical mass to induce a  global change (except in Egypt!). When their number is large enough, the change will be more prominent.

On the designer front, I think we need to evolve existing models, like Bloom’s taxonomy, to include a “connectivist” level with a new set of action verbs that address the activities of “collaboration”, “connectivism”,  “mining for information”, “use of technology” and so on. I think this should be a Phd level research which is too much for this post.

Take this opportunity to enjoy a creative stroll in rethinking “what could be”.

My “Would be” scenario is to ensure that educators at the pre-high school level to be a “teacher/connector” type who focus on teaching the basic communication and intellectual skills, at the same time, train the young children how to become connected. At high school, educators should be less teachers role and more connectors. After high school, learners choose can one of three paths:

(1) either join  a “teaching college”  where they are taught specific concept of their choice through pure teaching (like in Priesthood, Army or apprenticeship),

(2) Join univeristies where learner receive facilitation to grow personally and intellectually OR

(3) Choose to learn on their own through connective approaches based on the talents they have already mastered and developed. Usually these will be the one who will make te esay money. Watch “Social Media” movie.

References

Textbooks

  • Anderson, Terry, (2011), “Three Generation of Distant Education“, presentation website, last accessed on 10 March 2011.
  • Araya, Daniel (E), Peters Michael (E), (2010), “Education in the Creative Economy: Knowledge and Learning in the Age of Innovation” Published by Peter Lang Pub, ISBN 9781433107443
  • Tapscott, Don (2010), “Macroeconimics”, Published by Penguin Group USA, ISBM 1591843561
  • Tapscott, Don (2009), “Grown up Digitally” Published by McGraw Hill, ISBN: 978007150863

Websites

Movies

باختصار الجواب : لا أعتقد أن دور المعلمين سيتغير. اعتقد انه سيكون هناك مهنة جديدة
 

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Trip to China

we just finished a visit to China with dear friends. It was a great trip in many levels: culturally, spiritually, personally and intellectually. I will write few posts about my impressions in few coming posts. Below is a snapshot.

Traveling with the right people is enriching. Although I bullied my ideas on my friend, I ended with wealth of discovery. Thanks to his patience, tolerance and wisdom. He always has that enriching impractical on me.

My initial impressions about the Chinese experience is a wow on the cultural magnificence of the country. But boon on the economic development. I felt the Chinese government is moving quickly from the agrarian culture to the industrial age… And missing on the knowledge age. This will put her a century lagging the rest of the advanced countries. In addition, I have noticed a lot of Western impact, but no real genuine Chinese stamped advancement. I have a gut feeling that the conception about Chinese economic supremacy is a myth. All cars on the roads are modern but all of them are European or American, although built in China. Except for one Duck cuisine franchise, all other entrepreneurship is westerner concepts. I need to make some research to indicate if the west is the real winner in the Chinese economic invasion!

Shanghai is a bit another story. It needs more in-depth analysis. Visiting it’s deep streets indicates it is another Dubai success story. Yet, all the magnificent buildings are foreign investment.

More to come later.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

[[CCK11]]:About CCK and MOOC

Is it a new theory of learning? Or is the concept of theory distracting?

Connectivism is a theory framework. It relates to learning. But it is not a “theory of learning” in the traditional academic definition. It is more than that.

“Learning Theories”, in its psychological context, tends to address the learning that happens in biological entities. In its “machine learning” context, it is the study of algorithms1. Connectivism addresses the knowledge that exists at a universal level which includes all existing matters and not limited to human learning alone. It could be classified as a “Theory of Knowledge” and its application in “human learning” is a small subset.
In my opinion, the way connectivism is presented in the Siemen’s-Downes model is confusing, for the following reasons:

(1) It tries to encompass three concepts in one:

a- Defining learning as a function of networks;
b- Learning and knowledge building happens with machines as well; and
c- Connectivism is a suitable educational paradigm for the knowledge age.

Each of these concepts has a merit on its own. The first two could be easily demonstrated in empirical scholarship. It fails miserably in the third one. Connectivism cannot be applied in a traditional scholarship environment (see the “weakness section” for details). Connectivism creates a new learning paradigm, not a new educational paradigm, that contradicts many of the basics of educational system. It is a quantum leap, not an evolution of education, for the creation of universal knowledge. It is a “Noo Theory”, theory of global awareness!
What are the weaknesses of connectivism as formulated in this course? What are the strengths?

Note: I interpreted the question to mean the weaknesses/strengths of MOOC as a representation of Connectivism and not as a critique of connectivism itself. I hope I am not wrong!

The weaknesses:

MOOC as a massive course has its merits. But it is extremely weak as a credited course because, as mentioned above, connectivism does not work in a traditional educational setting. For example:

  1. This assignment is designed to meet scholarship grading requirements. However, its assessment rubric does not match the objectives of the course (it does not assess if I have built a strong network of knowledge). I think connectivism deserves a new assessment model that measures the strength of links created due to participation in the course.
  2. The format of the assignment defies connectivism itself where I am supposed to refer to academic references while my knowledge was built through connection to “lay-individuals” through the Internet.
  3. The expectation is that my answers are supposed to be at a “Master’s Level” while the course is at a certificate level.

Clearly the credited part of MOOC has been designed hastily and needs thoughtful redesign. It is worth mentioning at this stage is that I am learning a tremendous deal from the non-credited MOOC activity but minimally through the MOOC credited model.

The Strengths:
The MOOC, as a non-academic model, is a powerful concept:

  1. It allows the participants to learn based on their learning preference.
  2. Since it is not graded, it allows participants to determine what they want to learn then indulge in the learning process through connecting to other individuals.
  3. It offers a safe environment to allow participants to experience connectivism in a non-threatening environment; consequently, they can develop themselves to “survive” the connective age.
  4. The course encourages “continuous learning” where knowledge is expected to be continuously created and recreated.
  5. It offers an excellent environment to get immersed in the new overload of information we experience and train us on developing our own selection process.

Does connectivism resonate with your learning experiences? If so, how?

Yes, it definitely resonates with my learning experience. For the last 10 years, I lived in the “knowledge-on-demand” domain where I learn about something just when I need the information and limit my learning to just what is required rather than mastering the whole related body of knowledge. Connectivism puts words to this learning approach. At the same time, I am immersed with gadgets around me that facilitate my knowledge-on-demand concept. Connectivism is helping me to go further and accept that “knowledge resides in machines” as well, which means they are add-on to my knowledge. Finally, connectivism gives me many tools to understand the theories and ideas of De Chardin that fascinates me.

What are your outstanding questions?

  1. Why connectivism is a learning theory and not a knowledge theory.
  2. Why is it essential that connectivism conform under the traditional educational system and not consider it as a new learning/knowledge paradigm that does not fall under the scholarship umbrella?
  3. What are the set of knowledge, skills and value sets that need to be developed by a person to become a connected person?

References

  • Aitken, R. (2007). Surviving the New Learning Landscape: A Guide for E-Learners, p15, Lulu Publishing.
  • Lee, M., Gaffney, M. (2008). Leading a digital school: principles and practice, New Learning Though Technology -Connectivism, pp 57 – 200.
  • Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age, International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, Last accessed: 10 Feb 2011.
  • van Pløn, V. (2006). eConnectivism: a new learning theory?, University of Twente.
  • Wikipedia:
  • Interactions with my PLE:
Note: For further references and sources to the above arguments, please refer to my blog posts and my CCK11 networks. Connectivism should not be limited to APA format. Right?

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Detect language » Arabic

[[CCK11]]: A reply I posted on Wikipedia discussion

… I admire your passion to prove your point. My initial reaction is that you are mixing up between three inter-related concepts:

1) Connectivism as a theory (i.e. the concept that learning is the expansion of connections and that knowledge resides in machines)
2) Connectivism as a learning approach (i.e. learning in the knowledge age will depend on how we connect with individuals and other knowledge devices/machines) and
3) MOOC as an application to the learning approach (i.e. 2 above). MOOC is a course designed to introduce the concept of connectivism in a “connective” way. The success of the attempt is not indicated by the number of the participants in the Elluminate sessions, but by the number of “knowledge connections” that are formed outside the course. Try to search for #CCK08, #CCK09 or #CCK10 (the tags used to connect the groups) and you will find out that numerous groups and networks exist in the Web 2.0 world that continue connecting even after the conclusion of the course. Which proves that there is a merit to the theory and its application! (although it still need to be captured, analyzed and documented! 😉

I agree with you that the article should be re-written and I will start early next week working on it. AboluayTalk2me 18:08, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

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[[CCK11]]: I am not a connectivist!

In a post on our CCK11 group I wrote:

I am confident, so far, that I am not a real connectivist… the real connectivists are now changing governments (like in Egypt and Tunisia), they are changing the meaning of diplomacy, dignity and conspiracy (like in Wikileaks), they are creating knowledge (like Wikipedia), writing phenomenal apps (Open Source) and so on… they live connectivism naturally. They do not need MOOC to become connectivists.

They developed skills that our generation strives on eradicating… for example: they utilize their idle time, they change their values when needed, they are not afraid about their identity, they are not afraid if someone else use their information, they do not believe retaining information themselves is essential, they can work with massive knowledge add-ons (like knowledge on machines), they do NOT plan for the deep future, they do not have worries (although we push them to develop theirs), they believe EVERYTHING can supply knowledge (whether friend or enemy, genius or ignorant, machine or ??), they are not worried if the information is correct or not, their friends and community is on constant change, their friend-set changes based on the issue they are addressing… They do not worry about respect or trust … and few other skills that I do not own… yet!

Who among us have these skills? not me so far!

Don’t get me wrong: I am connected, I have a huge PLN that helps me with my day to day learning and decision making, I believe that knowledge resides in machines and I make a good use of these tools. But all of these are “simulated connectivism”. They are not natural traits. When I compare my connectivism with my son, I still find huge gaps between how my brain is connected and how his brain is connected. Adopting the famous phrase: I am an emigrant to the connectivim and not a naturalized connectvist!

[[CCK11]]:Switch VS Hard Disk

For few weeks now, I have been immersed in the connective learning. Although my connections and nodes are not strong, and they are unidirectional (from me out, and I rarely get feedback), I have to admit that I am learning. So, I am convinced it has a merit.

One thing I have noticed is that “I” need to change to survive this new learning paradigm. After considerable reflections, though I was hoping connections :(, I found few things I had to “rewire” in the infrastructure of my brain. I will use the computer as an analogy (so, I apologize to those who are not familiar with the terms that I will use):

1) Storage Vs Connectivity: I need to move from relying on “large hard disk storage” to a system that has “a super smart network switch”. The core “technology” my brain need to invest in is high connectivity and not storage. Education and my upbringing forced me to rely on investing in “huge long term storage” systems and they did not train me or prepare me to handle large influx of information. To the contrary, I was trained to reject influxes because it means distraction, and to accept focusing on one thing at a time as a virtue!

2) Memory: Does this mean that I need to get rid of all memory to be effective in the connective world?  No. I just need to move from a “hard disk” system that keeps all information stored to a new storage system that allow us to get information when needed, store what need to be stored and purge the obsolete information. Sticking to the computer analogy: we need to replace the hard disk storage with a ROM (to store the basic skills, knowledge and habits we need to function, like communication, logic) and a fast RAM that is used to manipulate the information we need and get rid of them when they become obsolete. In none computer terms: I need to practice to prevent my previous knowledge, habits, values and habits to influence the new knowledge. I should be ready to accept new knowledge without allowing my previous knowledge to distort it.

3) Scripts: For the Switch-RAM-ROM to work together, I need to put right scripts in place that allows the right information to be processed and converted to knowledge. In a non-computer terms this means I need to develop the right habits, attitudes and value sets that facilitate the process. In addition, I need to rely on technology to filter the information and ensure I get the maximum information I need in the smallest junks possible. This needs more in-depth thinking and analysis.

Then it hit me. The disparity between formal education and connectivism is:  Education promotes “increasing the capacities and contents of the long term storage” while connectivism advocates “increasing the power of the network switches, put the basic knowledge in ROM’s and replacing the hard disks with volatile RAM”!

Now I understand why education will resist the connectivism. Now I understand why some critics argue that connectivism is a twisted mirror for older learning theories. Now I understand why many individuals are not comfortable with the experience: they still use hubs which cannot handle the huge information influx and they feel connectivism does fill their hard disk is still empty…

Even more, I recognized that my education did not prepare me for this new way of management of knowledge. Since I work in international education, I am confident that education, anywhere (except in a small committee in Europe), is designed for “hub/hard disk” individuals and not for the “Switch/RAM” individuals. But, hey, does the Switch/RAM person need schools to learn? This will be another post.

Detect language » Arabic

[[CCK11]]: A reply I posted on Wikipedia discussion:

A reply I posted on Wikipedia discussion:

… I admire your passion to prove your point. My initial reaction is that you are mixing up between three inter-related concepts:

1) Connectivism as a theory (i.e. the concept that learning is the expansion of connections and that knowledge resides in machines)
2) Connectivism as a learning approach (i.e. learning in the knowledge age will depend on how we connect with individuals and other knowledge devices/machines) and
3) MOOC as an application to the learning approach (i.e. 2 above). MOOC is a course designed to introduce the concept of connectivism in a “connective” way. The success of the attempt is not indicated by the number of the participants in the Elluminate sessions, but by the number of “knowledge connections” that are formed outside the course. Try to search for #CCK08, #CCK09 or #CCK10 (the tags used to connect the groups) and you will find out that numerous groups and networks exist in the Web 2.0 world that continue connecting even after the conclusion of the course. Which proves that there is a merit to the theory and its application! (although it still need to be captured, analyzed and documented! 😉 …

Sh3er men Al Shab Amen

Below are some poems composed by my friend Amen… he suggest we make mo3alaqa billionieh

عبيلي كاسي عبي وعيارو طبشيلي

وازا حدى غيري عليكي طب شيلي

اوووووف اووووف

وتاءغفى انا على صدرك طبشيلي

لاءنو حلال النوم عا صدر الحباب

and another one for Tim Horton type 3arak chain

ستار بكس و تم هورتن قال معاهن مش ماشي الحال

و ما بيمشي حالو لراسي الا معبي شي بكاسي

وكاسي كاسين بيكاس لو عبيتو اناس يا خال

فيك تطلب بي دريف ثرو وهالمازا كلها معو

قصبي وسناسل عالبال والنية وثوما حلال

بدقيقة و ثانية ونص لو هالشاليمونة بكاسك بتمص

ابتنسى اليصاير والصار وعل مية بترجع بترص

بتعملك برمي وبتلف وبترجع عدريف ثرو بتفوت

وبتغني وزمورك توت توت بدنا نسكر بيبيروت



Detect language » Arabic

Detect language » Arabic

[[CCK10]]: Trying to understand – Is Connectivism a mix of three concepts?

A discussion is taking place in Wikipedia about the article with the same topic. Some participants refuse to accept the concept as a theory. There argument was based on the pattern of decreased enrollment in MOOC. This made me recognize that the way connectivism is presented opens the door for confusion between three aspects of the idea:

(1) Connectivism as a theory: which (as I understand it) has the following arguments: (a) defining learning as an increase in connectiveness and (b) knowledge resides in machines as well as human brains; consequently it is essential in the knowledge age that knowledge be accurate, current, individualized and ever-changing.

(2) Connectivism as an educational approach: As a consequence to the theory, the connectivists suggest that education should evolve to address the issue of accuracy, currency and ever-changing. Classroom instruction is not the only form anymore. Modern learners need to connect with humans and machines to generate their knowledge. This requires new set of learning skills, styles, habits, attitudes… that traditional education does not offer 1.  The new set of personal attributes developed by the new learners should allow them to build connection quickly with nodes (human and machine) whenever they are trying to create/develop new knowledge.

(3) Connectivism as a course: The MOOC (as I understand it) demonstrates how connectivism (as an educationalapproach) is applied in  real-life learning setting. The facilitators are creating a connected environment to help the participants learn and practice “connective Learning”. In this context, learning should happens OUTSIDE the course through connecting in FaceBook, Twitter, Blog-sphere and any other Web2 medium. The Elluminate session is not the course. It is an activity that initiates the discussion about a certain topic related to connectivism. Although Elluminate chatting and back channels facilitate some sort of connections for learning, but the real learning happens outside Elluminate: through the different web2 medium. So, the enrollment in Elluminate session does not indicate the success of the attempt. The real indicator should be the number of channels/connections that are created and maintained outside the course. Right? (side note: This means we need to do some research in this area!).

Since I am planning to rewrite the article, I need your help criticizing my standpoint… am I on the right track? Is there any other way to look at it? Any input is appreciated!

ايون التسرب من connectivism أو من MOOC.

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[[CCK11]]: The crowd in the connectivism

I was asked: “… is this paradigm [connectivism] different from “the wisdom of crowds”? My anwer was:

… my opinion which might change: …it is an extension to the traditional concept of the “the wisodm of the crowd” with two additions: (1) It is more instantaneous, current and more accurate and (2) the crowd now includes machines! … X-)

Any other differences?

[[CCK11]]: Is Connectivism Accepted?

One of my “connectee” on the Facebook asked: “Is Connectivism already accepted as a Learning Theory?”…

I replied first saying: “Good Question” just to lock myself to the discussion hoping someone would give a good answer. Then I did a mini research then I commented with:

Short answer: Not Yet.

Long answer: Connectivsm creates a new paradigm where “acceptance” is determined by the “connected masses” and not necessarily by the academicians.

So, if you are asking if it is academically accepted, the answer is “not yet”, for the academics will require a long time to decide (I have seen academic researches with and against the idea). But the process is still going*.

If you are asking if it is accepted by the masses? The answer is another “not yet”. The number of individuals who are accepting the concept is increasing. But it did not reach a critical mass to call it a global acceptance. I think it will get there soon*.

Is there someone out there who would like to make me a better person by proving me wrong?


PS: * This is my opinion as of NOW. I am ready to change it the moment someone/something convince me otherwise. So, don’t stop trying to convince me otherwise!

[Check full conversation on FaceBook CCK11 group]

[[CCK11]]: Connectivism and Collaboration

Trying to answer the question: “how connectivism and collaboration are similar, yet, different. Or, are they? “, I commented:

In my opinion, connectivism and collaboration are different.

As of today, I understand connectivism to be “connection(s) that induce learning”. While collabrotion, on the other hand, is “connection to reach an outcome”. They will be the same if, and only if, the outcome is learning.

Note that, in connectivism, collaboration is not essential; especially when the connection is established with a none human entity (like Google search or a database!)…

Then I got this reply from one of the connectees on the site

I do not think they are mutually exclusive and tend to think of them both as, perhaps, contiguous and both contained in the flow of processes in learning. What is learning? How, and by whom, is learning determined? The short answer, for me, is … it depends 🙂 … there are many variables and possible permutations.

What do you think?”

[Check full conversation on FaceBook CCK11 group]


Super WiFi

swifiThe FCC released the “white spaces” –  the unused spectrum between broadcast television channels — will lead to a so-called “Super Wi-Fi” or “Wi-Fi on steroids.” This means we will have “80 Mbps and above long-range wireless speeds and 400-800 Mbps short-range wireless networks. Perhaps this means that wireless Internet can now actually be “faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound”. Google chipped in to utilize the bandwidth.

Very soon we will access WiFi like we get radio signal: everywhere!