Downes-Siemens discussion (E-Learning 3.0) 17.10.2018

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Just finished watching the conversation between Steven Downes and George Siemens in the framework of the E-Learning 3.0 course. Here is some of the key points I wrote down:

  • In the last five years we are kind of being in the wilderness/ now, there is an emergence of a more shared consistent narrative about AI and human intelligence and how these two intersect/ how we learn is structurally different way that predicted
  • The human equation in learning is critical to understanding/ Ai is influenced by human intelligence, one determines what the other does/ so the question is: what is uniquely human? Siemens advocated for an idea of beingness, who we are as people, kindness, compassion, emotion, maybe, he says, that’s our final domain of control. Machine learning model can be more accurate and effective that human intelligence, humans may slip through, computers always learn more/ So, if cognition isn’t our domain there are still areas where we are can prevail. Downes rejected the idea of being as fuzzy and suggested purpose and definition of goodness instead as more unique human qualities. However,  he said, that if we can come up with ethics, so can computers and that perhaps we are destined to be the voice in the computer’s head. 
  • What is learning? A persistent change in behavior or behavioral potential due to having undergone some type of experience, reflection or interaction with the environment/ the first part of learning is the capacity to choose what is important to you/ choosing-deciding that’s the skill in support we should be providing to students developmental attributes/
  • The things that are not being measured but end up to be more consequential
  • We can not not learn unless there is sth structurally wrong with us
  • So, why are we teaching in a way that is counter intuitive and not personally satisfying to students? Learning can be a bit of a struggle sometimes unless you are doing something that you absolutely love/ if we can have access to systems that can learn and out-learn us what should we be teaching? What’s the point of a formal system of learning when a student has an enormous disadvantage in relation to any type of technology agent? Maybe we should turn to the library of Alexandria, the lyceum or the academia for a model of more random exploration.
  • Siemens prediction for the next 50 years (short term) is that we are going to be working with technology, build knowledge and physically work in some in of relationship with technology. He quoted Andy Clark’s phrase about the mind being extended in the environment so our knowledge is not solely in our heads/ the ideas of connectivism seem all the more relevant as we proceed, he said.
  • Underlying layers of bitcoin and related technology reveal imply a significant change to the web itself (Downes)
  • The trustworthiness of the system is significant/ the places to hide are becoming minimum/ fragmenting the conversation has the same effect as denying a fact because people can’t get on the same page. Siemens used the word obfuscation: the conversation is not held long enough to have a shared opinion on that/ the strategies of dealing with is is fragmenting the main participants so that won’t be a coherent narrative
  • The joker problem: sometimes you just want to see the city burnt (Downes)
  • We are no longer engaging with information but with identities/ we only care about the info that validates our identity, the authenticity is secondary
  • Will to power (narcissistic) or will to control: I want to have control of what I do/ we often don’t see the long term impact-
  • What information abundance consumes is attention/ in the past we had more attention that information/ getting better for using our attention/ raising the IQ of individuals is important especially in an analytics world drives everything what happens

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You can watch the discussion here

The SULP approach

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SULP: Synergetic Urban Landscape Planning

This is an integrated approach that allows us to explore, imagine and plan synergies so as to accelerate the transition to a liveable, low carbon city. During the research process, SULP has continuously been reinforced by incorporating the results of the separate studies on water, climate, energy, urban agriculture and nutrients. Synergetic urban landscape planning forms the bridge between CO2 and livability goals on the one hand, and principles for sustainable urban development on the other.

More on SULP here

Networked Learning

NETWORK LEARNING

The network is a network of people: networked learning aims to understand social learning processes by asking how people develop and maintain a ‘web’ of social relations used for their learning and development (de Laat)

Networked learning does not necessarily involve ICT, though in specific cases it may make use of technology. What makes learning networked is the connection to and engagement with other people across different social positions inside and outside of a given institution.  The network is supportive of a person’s learning through the access it provides to other people’s ideas and ways of participating in practice as well as of course through the opportunity to discuss these ideas and ways of participating and to potentially develop nuanced, common perspectives (Carvalho and Goodyear)

Networked learning may utilize ICT but it might me also supported by other means such as physical artefacts or artistic stimulation of senses and feelings while connections may also be drawn spontaneously by the learners themselves (Bober & Hynes)

The network is a network of situations or contexts: connections between the diverse contexts in which the learners participate as significant for understanding learning beyond online learning spaces, and, indeed, within them as well. This is the sense in which the network, under-stood as a network of situations, supports learning: by offering tacit knowledge, perspectives and ways of acting from known situations for re-situated use in new ones. Networked Learning’ on this under-standing is the learning arising from the connections drawn between situations and from the resituated use in new situations of knowledge, perspectives and ways of acting from known ones (Dohn)

The ‘network’ is one of ICT infrastructure, enabling connections across space and time: The support for learning provided by the network is one of infrastructure, i.e. the ease of saving, transporting and retrieving content for future use. Learning, it would seem, will be ‘networked’ whenever it is ICT-mediated, by that very fact; perhaps with the proviso that the situations of learning should indeed be separated in space and/or time so that the infrastructure (the ‘network’) is actually brought into play. This proviso would differentiate the field of networked learning somewhat from the field of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), where many studies concern ICT-facilitated group work between physically co-located students. The re-search field of Networked Learning is characterized, not only by focusing on ‘networks’, but also by taking a certain approach to learning, focusing critically on aspects of democratization and empowerment (Czerniewicz and Lee)

The ‘network’ is one of actants: consisting of both human and non-human agents in symmetrical relationship to each other. It is a systemic approach to learning, where individual learners’ interaction and learning may be analyzed as a result of socio-material entanglement with objects and other people. The network supports learning in the sense that any learning is in fact the result of concrete socio-material entanglement of physical, virtual, and human actants (Wright and Parchoma; Jones)

 

References

Bonderup Dohn, N., Sime, J-A., Cranmer, S., Ryberg, T., & de Laat, M. (2018). Reflections and challenges in Networked Learning. In N. Bonderup Dohn, S. Cranmer, J-A. Sime, M. de Laat, & T. Ryberg (Eds.), Networked Learning – reflections and challenges (pp. 187-212). Switzerland: Springer. Research in Networked Learning,
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74857-3_11

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Philosophical divergences/ convergences

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CONCEPT, RESEARCH, DESIGN: Deniz Cem Önduygu

This is a summary of the history of (Western) philosophy showing the positive/negative connections between some of the key ideas/arguments of the philosophers. It’s a never-ending work-in-progress and the current version is mainly based on Bryan Magee’s The Story of Philosophy and Thomas Baldwin’s Contemporary Philosophy, with many other references for specific philosophers/arguments. (The source is noted with the book icon that appears when you click on an argument.)

The sidewalk ballet of city neighbourhoods

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A statistical indicator called the Storefront Index measures the number and concentration of customer-facing businesses in the nation’s large metropolitan areas. A series of maps represent location, size and intensity of neighbourhood business clusters down to the street level for 51 metropolitan areas. The Storefront Index, claims the writer, is one indicator of the relative size and robustness of the active streetscape in and around city centers. The index material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license and it is openly available for further investigation to researchers. around the globe

 

References

  • Joe Cortright, 2018. Quantifying Jane Jacobs. In City Commentary, full article and image available here