79 emails at 6:00 a.m. this morning. Another 20 by 7:00 a.m. And then 100 when I checked again at noon. They’re streaming in – ack! And all of them sporting the tell-tale “CCKO8” tag. These are the participants in George Siemen’s and Stephen Downes‘ Connectivism and Connective Knowledge course (CCK).
The participants (1,000 + of ’em) are from all over the world (see the Google Map, showing locations thus far. Above a shot of it, as of today) – Israel, Brazil, Wales, the Netherlands, Texas, Arkansas, Austarlia, New Zealand – good grief, there’s someone from Iceland!
The course is a twelve week adventure designed to explore the concepts of connectivism and connected knowledge and their application as a framework for theories of teaching and learning. In the course, we will all be walking our talk by making use of social networking tools – blogs, page flakes, twitter, UStream, and Elluminate. There’s even a group meeting place for the course in Second Life (on Chilbo Island).
Each week will begin with a series of short readings, podcasts, or video recordings by both instructors. Participants will receive daily emails, summarizing the existing conversation. There is a course blog. The Elluminate session will happen on Wednesday and Friday will be the weekly concluding event – a live debate/discussion with the authors on UStream.
We, the participants will be asked to post weekly reflections on our own blogs, participate in moodle forums, comment on the blogs of others, write short reflective papers, and give a final presentation on the topic: “What is the quality of my learning networks: diversity, depth. How connected am I?”
And that’s the heart of it for me. How connected am I? I will be asking myself that for twelve weeks – and I fully expect to be waaaay more connected 12 weeks from now than I am now.
So, my first impressions? Sound FABULOUS! This is just the kind of immersion that I needed – the kick in the pants to read all of these articles, posts, and blogs that I always mean to read but never seem to have (make?) time for.
Add to that my overall impression of George Siemen’s work (another FABULOUS) and then there’s my observations of the participants themselves – such range, such diversity, such energy! I just love reading the cavalcade of short bios they’ve posted on the course moodle thus far, bristling with excitement and verve. Programmers, IT professionals, curriculum designers, teachers of all stripes and backgrounds, technology mentors, writers, editors – the list goes on and on. But regardless of profession or training, there is one vital, common thread – a desire to think more deeply and effectively about learning and to connect to others that do.
Boyhowdy, this is going to be great.