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November 24, 2009
Week 11: Changing Systems
Originally, this week was to be a conference week with the representation from U of M's business faculty. However, things haven't quite materialized :). Our topic, stays the same - weltanschauung: changing views, changing systems.
The last several decades have brought about significant change in the information cycle (creation, validation, sharing, repurposing) and in how people interact with each other. Each era creates institutions that reflect the information-based needs they face (McNeely & Wolverton). Libraries in Alexandria, the Academy in Greece, churches in the middle ages, and schools/universities (~800 years ago). If we want to understand the institutions a society will create, we must first understand the nature and attributes of information of that era. And that's what we've been doing so far in CCK09.
The readings this week provide an opportunity to think about systemic change in education:
New structures and spaces of learning: The systemic impact of connective knowledge, connectivism, and networked learning
Higher Education, Globalization, and the Knowledge Economy (.pdf)
Week 11 Discussion Forum
Week 11: Live Session - here in elluminate 4 pm, CST (time zone conversion) , , November 23, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]
Here's what course members from around the world had to say. Want to join the conversation? Submit your feed. Then put this at the beginning of your post: CCK09Ulrike Reinhard Interviewing Stowe Boyd: The Web And The Post-Everything Economy – /Message
Interesting read. Do you see much difference between the interpretive and the complexity research paradigms? I see many similarities if not overlap, but wonder if I missed something.November 24, 2009
from RalfN comments on Why Google Wave ISN'T the coolest thing since sliced bread (from a technology perspective)
"Nobody cares about the technology perspective. It's the fucking social perspective that is innovating here. Millions of companies have sharepoint, wiki's etc. and they ARE NOT USING THEM. They keep sending emails to each other with recent updates in documents. They have done so for years. So what is the solution? Stop calling it google documents and start calling it google wave. Make it look like email. Make it feel like email. Make it just replace email all together. It's like giving all the idiots out there shared revisioned document control, but putting an email-like interface on top of it and tell them 'its just like email'. It's brilliant because this one will actually work. The challenge was never technical. We have seen all this before. But not integrated like this and masquerated as if it's email. And you have to be a real out-touch-with-reality geek to not realize that."
I don't know anything about interpretive research and complexity research. For that matter, I don't really know anything about any kind of research. That is why I have these silly questions.
Just googled it. Seems like an interesting paradigm. I hope there is some well-defined concept of what interpretive or complexity research are, but this seems contradict to interpretive paradigm itself--everyone is interpret, everyone has his own version of connectivism(this might be an interesting research topic BTW). You might miss something, but I might miss even more. And I would wonder, who cares?
Maybe I am asking too much questions about what kind of research should I do. Maybe I should just not categorize different kinds of research and just come up with a research idea and practice it.
It seems to me every paradigm is a religion or small world concept schema that requires: 1, a leap of faith, 2, practicing it.
Problem is: I am now agnostic and don't have faith about any kin of research, and is not doing any research.
I wonder, maybe lots of research in social science is just trying to capture the reality from one tiny facet, some might be interesting, some might not as much. Sometimes stories are even better, sometimes fiction might as well. I seems to want to find excuses to not research and captivate myself in the metaphysics ivory tower.
I wish be taught and change my mind. Thanks for the input.
"It seems to me every paradigm is a religion or small world concept schema that requires: 1, a leap of faith, 2, practicing it."
This is very true and one of the reasons my field (and I should say I mean only British history, historians of France and Germany still use theory quite a lot, so you don't even have to leave European history to find a large conceptual break).
I work best with examples, so here is one:
For quite a long time, up to the 1970s, Marxist theory informed a lot of historical research (in Britain it was the academic Fabians who were leading the charge). Their work was corrective in that they focused on women and lower class people, but to give one specific example, their theory just could not explain the English Civil War. One historian essentially came up with "Well it was just a big misunderstanding between people who were fundamentally the same and things got a little heated with the guns and the killing people bit." I'm being rather silly about it, but that's how it looks, just in a 300 page book.
To use your example, if you are a true believer in a given theory, you find yourself doing really bizarre mental gymnastics when events (or research findings) don't fit well in your religion.
So I would urge you to be agnostic and continue searching for you answers wherever they happen to be.
Thanks Kerry for the encouragement. I then will enjoy myself in seeing the reality through different lenses using different theories at the same time. I will entertain myself and see the world through psychological, communicative, economical, social, and connectivist perspectives...Hopefully I might also settle down and research about particular theory that I found particularly interesting.November 24, 2009
All theories are social and cultural constructions and should not be taken as "absolute," I think. You can look at them like selecting different filters through which we interpret what's going on in our world. Well, it's not entirely true to describe all the theories like arm-chaired theories, and some acknowledge the role of agents and their actions. If one who is observing some social phenomena also acts on it, it might change how the phenomena is being viewed.
Hello. My frustration with academia (as a 1st year grad student) centred on the seemingly never-ending requirement to cite sources, which produceda couple of years ago. I have since gotten over it.
I now hold out hope for academic research and writing. It is clear to me that there is abundant evidence supporting its utility. Like you say above, it is a matter of what lens to choose, and within what context, and towards what end. And while theories have utility, unproven conjecture may have little.
Hence, the need for research on connectivism.November 24, 2009
Hi Frances, my topic will be "Connectivism Course, from Overwhelmed to where have all the people gone?"November 24, 2009
Hi Ken, thanks for sharing your post there. It's a VERY interesting post and surely correspond with my situation somehow. We cite, sometimes to a curious extent. I understand now that academia is not only about pure knowledge creation, but also about the entrenched rituals and traditions. It might be optimally efficient individually, but it works on a large scale. I wish research in social science could be as easy as in hard science(at least methodologically). I wish I could find out what people know just by scanning the brains. But it obviously still have a far way to go. And the merit of current theory might be providing me with insight from a different level.
But I think conjectures and intuitions sometimes when combined, have even more power and value than theories. And I think I am as easily misguided by the grand theories about specific area as my intuitions. Lots of educational psychologist might still be not-so-great teachers, and many leaders in education might do not know as many theories about education as a typical Ph.D student, using their experiences and their insights about other area of the society, they might evolve some instincts that could help them change the world.
But then again, researchers and theorists and practitioners are all changing the world in different ways. I wish I could appreciate more how to change the world and contribute to the knowledge base more as a researcher and theorist as well as a practitioner.
Hi, Asako, thanks for point me to the concept of armchair theorizing. Yes, for me, understanding the reality from an observing perspective is not satisfying enough. Changing the world is more enjoyable. I think we all share the same sentiment.November 24, 2009
Post in Twitter and use the hashtag #cck09 to be listed here. (These should be fresh. Still working on improving the Twitter display.)Groups and Networks discussion revisited in xtranormal mashup video starring @LisaMlane @Downes @a1lsa http://bit.ly/7nUE6Z #CCK09
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