learningnetworks (ThoughtStorms)

A story of :

... and how it therefore got perverted by capitalism (OK, that's a stretch but think about it and tell me if it isn't really what's going on here) In other words, KnowledgeObjects got "productized" which means turned into "property" (OnProperty) that is suitable to be traded in a market. (Compare AcademicJournals, ProductStrategy)

Productization in this case is claimed to be a ModularityMistake. The size and shape of the modules are designed for the benefit of the knowledge publishing business (and the continuation of the existance of its intitutions) rather than the benefit of learners. "If this process seems odd and cumbersome, it is. "

: aside : interesting claim against FederatedSearch (that if each repository is organized only by local criteria it misses out on the benefits of global connectivity. There is no equivalent of PageRank to get the benefits of a global opinion. This is another classic modularity tension. A TradeOffBetweenGlobalAndLocal

There's a schema which specifies the "learning objectives" of the learning objects. Hence * But as Wiley argues in his paper ‘The Reusability Paradox’, the more specifically defined the learning objective of a learning object, the less reusable it becomes, until you get to the point where a learning object may be used by one, and only one, learning design.*

Another classic issue in any system of components : OverSpecialization.

But StephenDownes's seems to be being naive in the "What went wrong" paragraph. I'd say it's implicit in the lego-brick building block view that blocks will become distinct, black-boxes. And that people will think about gluing them together rather than some richer interactions. (Compare OnWritingAndAlphabets for when gluing together black-boxes works very well, and PatternLanguage because, of course, in Alexander's conception, patterns don't just stick together but do warp and influence each other)

Downes seems to be moving in a DynamicIdeography direction with all this breathless multi-media stuff. (Contrast TextBeatsMultimedia) Also are we talking about paintings by people who are genuinely pre-linguistic or merely pre-literate?

Get's into new media (Blogs, RSS etc.) He's right these new genres are going to spectacularly enable learning. And they do allow cross-cutting of modules and learning objects. Still not very impressed by the claim of "non-linguistic". Perhaps "post-static texts". The emphasis on personal (BloggingPersonalizes) and people (NetworkEpistemology) is right, of course.

Postings and people are the "words" of the new language? Interesting. Compare WikiIsLikeLanguage.

Edu_RSS : an aggregator for educational feeds? Compare SebPaquet's search for education blogs.

"Order emerges out of networks. This is how networks work, and that’s why this is the grammar of the new language." Compare NetworksCreateValue / OnEmergence

The big vision : The long answer involves rethinking what it is when we think about offering learning online. Instead of offering classes and courses, learning online ought to be structured along the model of environments, games or simulations. Writers like Seymour Papert and James Paul Gee talked about this, so I need not review their part of the argument. What I do offer to the discussion are the means and mechanisms for importing learning specifically into such environments.

Think of a learning environment as a space. If it is a space, then it can be thought of as a layer. It is, ultimately, the output layer of the learning network. Corresponding to points in this space, like stars in the sky, are the highly specific outputs of the learning network. Students are inhabitants who occupy this space. These outputs appear as features in their environment. Learning isn’t something they go to, something they ‘do’. Learning is simply ‘there’, a feature of the environment, to be used as needed.

Money shot :

And if the sales representative comes to you and tries to sell you an LMS or (worse) an LCMS, ask them why you have to pay them so much money for something the web and web browsers do for free.


Having some experience with LMS and LCMS I totally agree. -- ZbigniewLukasiak


BTW : This story totally wins me BonusFreakyConnectionPoints !!!


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See also :