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Terry Anderson keynote

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Juliette Culver
10 September 2009

Terry Anderson keynote

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  • Wrestling with dinosaurs...
  • Irony of travelling across the world to tell people they can do distance learning
  • Helpful to be clear about your values - we can continuously improve the quality, effectiveness, appeal, cost and time efficiency of the learning experience, student control and freedom is integral to 21st centure life-long education and learning, education for elites is not sufficient for plantetary survival (e.g. John Daniels, having to do things differently)
  • Very disruptive - fights with computers services department. Developing own leadership abilities and be prepared for disruption
  • Recent history of innovation - no systemic since 1960s when community colleges founded, OU etc. Last 40 years of reform: pbl, faculty development, community, technology enhanced learning. Outside main-stream, add-on
  • Promising signs - ubiquitity, Web 2.0, OERs, real educational alternatives (including private sector), and retirement!
  • Aligning with 21st C students - please to see presentations showing data not simple case between people born different dates ... they 'arrive at college with well-established methods of sorting, doubting and ignoring'
  • Tom Clysdale, 2009 Wake Up and Smell the New Epistemology
  • Need to create social captital, need to show our students how to create social capital, not just in face-to-face environment
  • - wide range of tools

Taxonomy of the Many. Dron and Anderson, 2007


  • First level group (leadership, organisation, pacing, structure, sense of privacy, focus, time-limited, metaphor is the virtual classroom, long history of research and study). Need collaborative tools, security, trust, decision making and project management tools, synchronous and asynchronous conversation / meeting. Theoretical models for group - Wenger's communities of practice. Not only VLEs that provide group tools. Problems with groups - restrictions in time, space, pace and relationship, overly confined by teacher expectation and institutional control. Usually isolated from authentic world of practice, low tolerance of internal difference, Group Think, Poor preparation for lifelong learning. Paulsen (1993) Law of Cooperative Freedom
  • Michael Wesch - getting uncomfortable with the word group, maybe flocks?
  • Frontiers of group learning - from systems to track, control and lead to systems to motivate and inspire. What motivates? Relevance, opportnity for recogniction, cool people, cool activities, disequilibrium (dewey), rewards


  • Groups necessary but not sufficient for quality learning - second in taxonomy is networks (shared interest/practice, fluid membership, friends of friends, reputation and altruism driven, emergent norms, structures, activity ebbs and flows, rarely F2F) Metaphor: Virtual Community of Practice. Add diversity to learning. 'People who live in the intersection of social worlds are at higher risk of having good ideas' Burt, Brokerage and Closure
  • Difference between collaborative and cooperate learning (Paulsen)
  • BeeWiser Social Networking - add on community of people giving feedback on other people's tutorials, shout-out opportunities. Google Wave - lots of question marks, love the wave metaphor, might be powerful.
  • Networks of practice - Brown and Duguid, 2001. Little expectation of reciprocity - motivation altruistic not to get something back. Raising social capital, reputation. Whole set of motivations haven't figured out how to use very well in education yet.
  • Transparency - ability to view and share thoughts, actions, resources, ideas and interests of others. Dalsgaard and Paulsen.
  • Major Challenges in Creating Incentives to Sustain Contribution to Networks
  • 'the network contains within it antagonistic clusterings, divergetn sub-topologies, rogue nodes. Galloway and Thanker, 2007
  • Pedagogies - connectivist learning, emergent practice rather than prescribed education, participatory pedagogy, students as content co-creatore, peer teaching. Complexity. Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and education 
  • Student organised networks e.g. on facebook.
  • Coursehero website - students are using networks for own learning
  • Network tool set - Elgg. Stepanyan, Mather & Payne, like it because of access control issues
  • - idea of putting any media up there and people can respond and have persistence. Only problem can't host on own servers - big privacy and legal issues for us


  • Metaphor: Wisdom of Crowds
  • Collective: aggregated other, stigmergic aggregation, algorithmic rules, augmentation
  • Used to aggregate, then filter, compare, contrast and recommend. Personal and collaborative search and filter for learning. Allows discovery and validation of norms, values, opinion.
  • Actions - aggregate, filter and select.
  • Crowdsourcing ideas - google page rank, answer blog, mechanic turk, swarm theory, book called clikc. slashdot, omgili


  • Taxonomy of giving us a way to think. Venn diagram picture of the three, with personal learning environment at the middle.
  • PLE: Easy to use, personally configurable etc.
  • Also article Dron and Anderson 2008, how to use PLE in education, time frames, commitment, scalability
  • Don't just think of these in terms of formal education, think of your own learning, your institution
  • Switch gears, conclude talk by focusing on openess. Open Access Week around the corner and stumble don work by Gideon Burton, Academic Evolution about the Open Scholar. Gideon had a couple of ideas and I expanded them.
  • Open scholars create new type of education, use and contribute OERs
  • Person whose job is to go through the curriculum finding OERs of various level of granularity.
  • What does it do? It saved time. Going to have to prepare for workshop, looked and found wonderful manual that solves problems, whole moodle course, all kinds of resources, will save hours and hours of time.
  • Open Scholars self-archive - open repositories - almost all publishers now put info up maybe with quarantine period. Strongly encourage to use or get one for your institution
  • Open Scholars apply their research - lots of opportunities to help NGOs, communities, lots of skill can use to help change the world in numerous ways
  • Open Scholars do Open Research. Idea of an Open Notebook - data transparent (Jean-Claude Bradley), human subject make more difficult, but idea of opening research process to move forward that way really important
  • Open Scholars Filters and Share with others - open thining, OLDaily, edublogs, Education Podcast Netowrk
  • Open Scholars support emergin open learning alternatives. P2P university, University of the People
  • Open Scholars Publish in Open Access Journal - took 12 of distance education worlds, half proprietary, half open-access. Used Publish or Perish tool, Open Access Journals have increased citation ratings. Work in progress with Olaf Zawack-Richter. Roughtly equal citations/paper, but recent gains in citations by open access journals
  • Open Scholars create open access books - Open Access presses - all books open access. Quite surprised got cheque for royalties 26,000 downloads, 400 odd copies. Would encourage others.
  • Open Scholars comment openly on the works of others. Bookmarking, annotation, brainify website, vle additions by Margenalia
  • Open Scholars build network
  • Open Scholars lobby for copyright reform, very unclear at least in canda what is copyright, what is it for, why are we doing it. huge lobby from the entertainment industry
  • Open Scholars assign open textbooks - flatworld website, california open source textbook project, freeload press
  • Open Sources Induce Open Students - students as co-creators
  • Open Scholars support Open Students, whole movement
  • Open Scholars teach Open Courses e.g. courses by david cormier, alecs couros, CCK
  • Open Scholars research openess
  • Open scholars are change agents
  • Open scholars battle with time
  • Open scholars are involved in the guture 'through personal experience we forge an ecology of lifelong learning'


  • What would an open institution look like? Look at what institutions need to do to support open scholars, look at how change reward structures
  • Vision requires huge change - hard, how do you get this to happen? From Baptist background, missionaries, living by example, make sure tools actually have advantage, most faculty not exposed in context of their discipline and life-world. Sit down beside people in faculties on one-to-one basis
  • How are these ideas received outside learning technologists? Sparks of interest, need to fan, and be patient. Long haul.
  • How meaningful is crediting people for their ideas and citation in this world?  Studies of networks - doing it to build social capital, if don't credit, doesn't provide that incentive. So think it's important, though maybe just part of my academic background too.

Juliette Culver
11:10 on 10 September 2009 (Edited 11:54 on 10 September 2009)

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