I attended some of the Online Connectivism Conference – OCC2007 last week, organised and facilitated by George Siemens. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to thow myself fully into it in the way I would normally approach something like this, which I consider to be important and worthwhile. The timing just didn’t work out so well for me, but I did manage to hear most of about three elluminate sessions with George himself, Will Richardson, Bill Kerr, and Stephen Downes speaking, missing two others entirely. I really should have kept a copy of the survey-monkey questionnaire I filled in afterwards, because I wrote some comments on the use of simultaneous text chat, with slideshow and audio presentation on that. Never mind – that’s something to try and remember in future.
Stephen Downes spoke in depth about what is known about the nature of networks, but I missed the beginning so I may go find the archive recording and listen again.
Bill Kerr stuck up for constructionism and Logo – so good for him.
George Siemens ran the show with great skill, keeping people informed of what was happening when, and encouraging a high standard of discussion.
There were constant chatterings going on in the text converation area, sometimes related to the presentation as it happened, and sometimes not. I was easily lured in to get involved with those, sometimes to the detriment of concentrating on the prepared content being delivered by the knowlegeable speakers, so I covered up that half of the screen on occasion in order to listen better.
At the end, it was decided to break the conference moodle space wide open so that it is now a publicly accessible web resource – no need to register to read – great move.
There’s a thread called “Biggest unanswered questions” and I’ve posted this one:
My biggest unanswered question is about the politics of connectivism. I’m not convinced that neutrality is an option, that the theory of connectvism merely describes a phenomenon that has been observed, that it explains a way in which learning happens. If we embrace the theory and refer to it in our own practice then we are helping to spread an idea, a perspective, which has implications and consequences.
I’d like to explore what those implications and consequences might be.