Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Coherence; Online identities

George Siemens discusses coherence as a component of a learning environment. If we offer a "cohesive look at a discipline" in a course, do students get it - or do students have to create their own sense of coherence? Students can create a sense of coherence out of their social networks. Siemens describes information foraging among learners with faculty and core content in the middle of a diagram which also contains co-created content on the part of peripheral learners and external experts and learners themselves with OER hanging off to one side - the arrow pointing to "core content". ( Slide 39. ) Nice environment though I don't know why OER is off over on the side by itself as it is were supplemental to the core content rather than possibly the core content itself. The lines in the diagram.. Is Siemens suggesting that faculty are responsible for turning up some external experts and some peripheral learners for courses? I have a feeling that learners are themselves responsible for looking beyond the boundaries set by a coherent course. Are faculty totally wierded out by the idea that they don't teach "everything" in school? Are students angered that they didn't learn everything they need to know in school? Siemens will post the talk when it is available. Helen Keegan on The paradox of openness: The high costs of giving online. on actively developing our online identity. The "me" to the "professional me." Is it authentic to behave professionally in an online environment? Does this detract from the Web as a place of experimentation and fun? (Uh oh! Is experimentation and fun the opposite of "professional"?) Are we doing students a disservice if we ask them to post under their real names? (Can we have an "authentic self" that uses a pseudonym? Err... wait: what's an authentic self? The self that acts like a two-year old? OMG I hope not even though I do have a hypothesis that there is no such thing as an adult. ). There seems to be a couple of things going on: Should we moderate ourselves and behave professionally online? Should we practice doing this in a safe space? Pat Parslow in Comments says "I moderate what I say online – but then I moderate what I say “in real life...I think most people are engaging in identity performances most of the time. We do not, I would argue, tend to say or do the same things in front of our parents, as in front of our friends, or kids, or bosses (etc, etc). The walled garden is helpful in this regard... ” I'd say that we should ask students to think about their online presentation of self - and just in general... their presentation of self in everyday life. (Everyone run out an get Erving Goffman's book!) I'm thinking about Second Life: My avatar behaves in a professional manner. She identifies herself as a librarian. Like many others I have another avatar with a different name who could act up - but I have to say that she hasn't been activated in ages and never did get around to acting up. I suppose we could say that my inner two-year old has been thoroughly repressed. One thing comes to mind regarding management of self: Trey Pennington, social media guru, committed suicide over the weekend. ( His online follows who felt that they "knew" him and were connected in some way had to acknowledge that they did not know him. Should Pennington have revealed to all of his audiences that he was struggling with thoughts of suicide? Do we consider Pennington "inauthentic" since he didn't reveal to his suicidal thoughts to his Twitter followers? As usual these were items suggested by Stephen Downes OLDaily September 6, 2011 Yesterday (September 6) Bright House - my cable service - had significant periods of outage that included both TV and Internet. My land line from Verizon was not working. My cell phone was working, but I'm on an austerity budget - no backup mobile broadband access. Fairly boring! However I'm reading "23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism" ( and I wish I knew someone who'd read Chang's chapter on education and could let me know what they think about . Thing 17: More education in itself is not going to make a country richer. He says that getting everyone a college education is not necessarily going to improve the economy, but he does appreciate education for other reasons - improving one's quality of life for one thing. I'd love to know what others make of Thing 17.

No comments: