“Connectivism for EFL Teachers” is the result of reflections, at length, with how I teach. I have learned how to teach by literally sitting at the feet of some of the most respected, talented, and gifted teachers in the ELT profession.
I met these giants, oddly enough, at the end of the world, here in Chile. They have taught me much, through their words, their writings, and above all, through their example. As a teacher I owe much of who I am to them.
Nonetheless, I take complete responsibility for what I have been able to create with my own talent and intellect. For this reason, I thank my “giants”, anonymously. I seek to emulate their selfless example in my own writing and committment to my profession, English Language Teaching.
With this, I hope to have repaid an enduring debt, and in some small measure, inspired another teacher to do as I do, to seek the heights of great teaching.
Thomas Jerome Baker,
Connectivism & Connected Knowledge tells the story of my journey from isolation to becoming globally connected to sources of knowledge. It is a journey that begins with a proposition: self-improvement that also benefits others. I go back in time to share this journey with you, certain that it will also benefit you personally, and the members of your personal and professional learning network also.
You: “What? Come again? Excuse me? Who in the world is Waldo?”
Me: “Relax, let me tell you what I’ve been up to. When I finish, you will know who Waldo is. I promise.”
First things first. I listened to the recorded Elluminate session of the MOOC that I’m taking, Connectivism and Connected Knowledge 2011 (#CCK11).
Stephen Downes was fast as lightning in making it available. I was kinda low about missing it. Next time I’m going to be there, in person, but I digress. Where was I?
Oh, the Elluminate session, the first one of the course. Yes, I have seen it. It’s quite long, (one hour) so I really concentrated, even taking notes as I went along.
Here’s what I took away:
1. What do you do as a learner? Create, interact, and track, according to George. Here’s a diagram of what he means:
You: “OK, I can understand that. But what about Stephen? How does he see this?”
Me: “I’m glad you asked. You see, that’s where this guy Waldo comes in. But let me givew you Stephen’s view first, OK? Here it is:
Stephen Downes: (Quote) “Aggregate, Remix, Repurpose, and Feed Forward”. (End of quote)
Stephen is a genius. Or a poet. Or a philosopher. Those words are brilliantly packed full of meaning, so much so that even I can understand what’s going on. This is my take:
Aggregate: Collect the information you need.
Remix: Put it together in the way that best suits your needs.
Repurpose: Create, innovate, imaginate (is that a word? imaginate?)
Feed Forward: Share. For Free. No cost. Don’t be a Gollum: “My precious, all mine, I’m not sharing my creation with you.”
Being stingy is not an option. Even a blind man can see that this connectivism and connected knowledge learning theory breaks totally down if individuals refuse to share.
I read somewhere that knowledge doubles every 18 months. If you accept that, and I need you to accept that premise, then if you refuse to share, guess what?
Yes, you got it. You will be hoarding old, outdated knowledge. That’s one of the 8 principles of connectivism, namely: Currency. Being up to date.
You gotta share your insights with others. Why, if it’s gonna be old in 18 months?
Good question. Now here’s why:
Aggregate – Remix – Repurpose – Feed Forward.
It’s a process that generates new knowledge, connected knowledge.
You: “This #CCK11 is some pretty powerful stuff.”
Me: “It’s like being dipped in magic waters, a perpetual creation and human ingenuity machine…”
You: “Hey, what about that Wally guy. Who is he?”
Me: haha haha Wally is knowledge. Once you find Wally in a picture, then you know. And once you know where Wally is, no matter how hard you try to not know, you know. That’s all it is.
You: “Wow, that’s some deep stuff, that Wally story. I’m impressed. This CCK11 course is making you super smart!”
Me: “Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but I stole that from Stephen Downes, picked his pocket when he wasn’t looking. do you remember what he said?
You: Aggregate – Remix – Repurpose – Feed Forward.
Me: Exactly. So, you feed it forward to your friends. By the way, would you like to see if you can find Wally, even if I don’t tell you anything about him? Think you could figure it out?
OK, dear reader, happy hunting. Where’s Waldo?