A while back George Siemens asked me if I'd be willing to participate in his Connectivism Online Conference as a "context filter." The format is a sort of smaller scale K12 Online. There will be a preconference keynote given by George this Friday at 11:00 am (N. American CST) and then five presentations given one each day next week at the same time of day. This is the schedule:
- » George Siemens - Connectivism: Learning Conceptualized Through the Lens of Today's World
- » Will Richardson - Connective Teaching: How the Read/Write Web Challenges Traditional Practice
- » Diana Oblinger - Balancing Agility and Stability in Higher Education
- » Bill Kerr - A Challenge To Connectivism
- » Stephen Downes - The Recognition Factor
- » Terry Anderson - Research and Net Pedagogies
I'm most looking forward to the presentations given by Bill and Terry. While I don't always agree with everything Bill writes I think his is an important critical voice. He always has a well articulated perspective and really makes you think. Terry's presentation attracts me because I'm also interested in new pedagogies made possible by the proliferation of tools and potential on the web.
The role of the "context filters" (myself and 12 other folks
not sure if their identities are public knowledge yet) is to reflect on the relevance of each presentation in the context that applies to them. For me, that means as a senior high school teacher.
I really like the way George is doing this. He has emphasized several times that the presentations are intended as conversation starters. The real value will grow organically out of the asynchronous, distributed conversation that will take place afterwards in blogs or the Moodle installation (click on the [login as guest] button) set up for the conference. Now, that's something that I think could have been done differently to improve access and distribute the conversation across a wider audience.
The Moodle installation, while it is open to everyone for viewing, only allows registered participants to post. The registration has been closed at just over 1000 people. I can see why George might like to have everyone registered in Moodle -- it's a way to track the number and identities of the participants. I think there are better (read: more open access) ways of doing this though. I guess that's something to think about for the next conference. ;-)