2007 Online Connectivism Conference – Opening session with George Siemens

The opening session to the 2007 Online Connectivism Conference
just concluded and my head is spinning (In a really good way). There was so
much investment in this room, over 190 participants in the Elluminate session.
The message board was rolling, the discussion thought-provoking (even if,
especially with the differing opinions), and my hands couldn’t keep up with my

I came away with a number of things that I need to think more about:

  • The importance of the relationship of context to
    information, knowledge and learning.
  • The continuing geometric explosion of information in
    both pace (sum of knowledge doubling every 18 months) and breadth means
    that we need to puruse less linear perspectives on how learning and
    what  knowledge mean to those of us involved in education, but more
    importantly what it means to our learners both present and future.
  • Monolithic institutions such as government and higher
    education require large forces to affect changes in their culture. Are the
    changes that are presently occurring in these areas a result of our
    connected culture?
  • How we facilitate bidirectional communication across
    distances has changed dramatically in the last century in both modality
    and in speed.
      letters -> telegraph -> telephone -> radio -> cell
    phone -> Internet
  • Impact on authority – This is changing our concept of
    trust (verification, digital savvy) and requires an approach using a
    critical eye as opposed to open acceptance.
  • A sea change from knowledge as product to knowledge/knowing
    as process
  • Our current web environment is cultivating an architecture
    of participation powered by network effects (the strength of the
  • And yet the sheer abundance of information creates its
    own problems – we’re drinking from a fire hose!
  • George identified three means to accommodate the flood
    of information:
  • Increase human capacity (evolve bigger brains)
  • Increase technological capacity (via bio-augmentation)
  • Increase procedural capacity (employ network

The driving question for many of us
attending the Online Connectivism Conference is:

What is
connectivism and how does it apply to education?

Please check it out. Better yet, join the Moodle
and dive into this community of practice! We look forward to learning with you!

This is food for thought… And I’m starving!

[tags]occ2007, connectivism, siemens [/tags]

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