Found the readings variable. For this post I am looking at the pre-readings, the week #1 readings and some of my own.

Really enjoyed CISCO’s Equipping Every Learner for the 21st Century, Challenges of Participatory Culture and the New Structures and Spaces of Learning.  Each of these allowed me to grapple with some of the concepts related to Connectivism, while mapping the ideas to the big picture changes which are impacting on my area of Vocational Education and Training in NSW (Australia).  Our legislators and financial controllers are asking us to be more flexible in our delivery and assessment of our courses whilst at the same time ensuring we incorporate Workforce Capability development, Recognition of Prior learning (RPL) and Workplace Delivery and Assessment. Each of these articles resonated for me in these areas and have helped me to give an educational framework for these principles. i will pursue this theme through the course.

Another emerging theme for me is the concept of the technologies versus the required paradigm shift in our teaching and learning practices. Stephen in his course blog post of Sept 10 said of the connectivism critics: “These arguments, it seems to me, are circular. They defend the current practice by the current practice.” All of the web 2.0 and other Internet based tools available to us as teachers can become either tools to augment our current practices or a means to seriously change the way we do things. We need to get over the operational aspects of the technology first eg look and feel, functionality, etc.

The paradigm shift requires us to ensure we explicitly teach the life long and work based learning skills mentioned by CISCO, Jenkins and Siemens in the readings. Building these into our facilitated delivery and assessment will be an important part of this shift. At the same time that delivery and assessment to incorporate the key aspects of connections, collaboration, creation and employability skills.

I suspect Wellman’s piece on Little Boxes, Glocalisation and Networked Individualism will resonate more as the course progresses. One of the ironies for me will be how this mass participation course with no f2f contact will create a meaningful network or “Affinity Space” (Clinton et al) rather than a convenience.