This blog moves …

Attention please, if you follow this blog.

The new address is http://www.helinurmi.fi/blog

Welcome there! Edublogs has served me excellently but I am not a teacher anymore and I live in Finland – so Edublogs is not a right place to me, I suppose.

Many thanks to Edublogs for these five years!

Some ideas for the year 2014

This is a test. I’ll try to find my aims for this year by writing about my expectations. How to participate in this international world? I’ve some circles of friends here and there and – after deciding not to participate in any course – I have noticed that many of my friends began the course “Rhizomatic Learning” by Dave Cormier. I am a member of the FB group “Rhizo14” already and read enthusiastic writings by many people which I’ve met in previous courses. So, what to do? Perhaps I must get acquainted with the course programme and participate those weeks which are immersive enough. The real reason for participation are the people, anyway, I trust their capacity to interact with the co-learners. The spirit will be as fantastic as it was in edcmooc. So I follow people, not topics. It is a waste of time to ponder about my aims or interests, I’ll find them only by participating.

Other interesting programmes seem to be Community Manager Appreciation Day(cmad.fi) for community workers in Finland, 27th January. There seems to be English sites as well. They have video stream all the day.

LAK14 will be in 24-28.3. in Indiapolis USA. I hope that I can follow it on the internet. Learning Analytic conferences have been the best arenas for research presentations. There was a meeting around MOOC research  in Texas in November or December but while watching the presentations I had to conclude that very few were about research, only practice. The speakers were wondering why they were invited to the meeting.

Networked Learning is the theme of NLC2014, 7-9.4. in Edinburgh and I know that I can find interesting research there. Many of my friends have presentations there, Finnish people and people from the other side of the globe. The content has always been challenging and there are preliminary meetings in their web environment.

And I have to remember JISC and ALT and ELESIG webinars. Athabasca University offers open CIDER sessions and the Journal IRRODL. In Europe we have our own EURODL .

Now I have answered a question “with whom and in which networks I will participate” in the beginning of the year 2014. And I can follow my learning moments and share them with other participants. It is so simple, is it?

I try to find an image of winter here because I don’t like to show the aqueduct of Segovia two times so near to each other. We have got snow lately in Jyväskylä and cold times have begun. Let’s enjoy!

talvi700

 

My blog and my expertise?

The header image of this blog shows the history of my participation. Five years and four months is a long time and now I have a feeling that I want to change something.

akveblog

In order to deepen my orientation I present more facts which Google Analytics offers me. Here is the overall situation: visitors, visits and pageviews.

Englblogi5vThe numbers of blog posts differ but they don’t correlate directly with the visits. The year 2010 is the top of posts: 20,24,64,16,26,50.

The first two years were connectivism studies CCK08 and 09. It was the beginning of my international participation.

The PLENK2010 course opened more ways and I was active for the first time. The year 2010 seems to be my real beginning towards international virtual life. After that year I have participated in many moocs. American eduMooc gave me some names to follow in Twitter. Two Coursera studies have been great experiences: Fantasy and science fiction. Human mind and Modern world was hard work and taught a lot. ELearning and Digital Cultures was so fascinating that I did it twice. Its facilitators’ team is charming and the community around the course seems to live forever.  First steps of learning and teaching in higher education was nearest to my former work at teacher education. I participated in it twice, first as a student and then as an expert participant. It helped me to find the old educational theorists in the internet and deepen my knowledge.

The following diagram shows the countries from which the visitors came to my blog. The overall number is 130.

Englmaat5vUSA is highest every year but UK goes up in 2013. Edcmooc and fslt are both implemented in British Universities. Australia goes up and more visitors come from there than from Canada. Philippines and India have noticed my blog later. Malaysia could be mentioned too. Europe is less interested in my blog (except UK). Germany was at the top on the first years, now the Netherlands leads the numbers. Finland I have left outside because I cannot separate my own visits from real visitors.

So it is a small English speaking community which I’ve learned to know during these five years. Some of my friends participated in the connectivist moocs but not everyone.  My connections are open and changing all the time. I recognise many names in Twitter and follow their blogs. Although new visitors have apparently come during the courses, the most favourited topics in my blog seem to be very general. They are near my real expertise and my permanent interest. I’ll list the blog posts here in order (how popular they have been):

Learning theories in teacher education from 2010-10-05 and category teacher education are at the top from year to year. Almost half of all direct visits are connected to this topic.This expertise is part of my history and I’ve no intention to continue in this field. They are opening doors to the  internet and do what they want, it is not my job any more.

Then the numbers of page visits diminish quickly.

  • On connectivism again 2008-09-16 includes a diagram of experiental learning, which we used in teacher education. I suppose that this page is linked by Downes somewhere.
  • Learning theories and technology 2010-10-09 and Learning theories recent discussion 2010-10-07. I remember that Rita Kop appreciated my knowledge about Nordic discussion.
  • Social self organisation 2011-02-24 was connected to a Finnish project published in English. Understanding networking 2011-02-27  followed the same project. There was international interest in the air.
  • Learning Analytics 1st conference 2011-03-04 contains links to presentations. Also the following posts about LAK conferences have got readers for the same reason I believe. How to follow learning (LASI and LAK) 2013-07-12 continues with this theme.
  • Assessment can support development 2010-10-14 deals with the main topic of learning, based on my experiences at the teacher education.
  • Research about mooc pedagogy 2011-12-19 is my permanent interest.
  • I am the platform 2010-09-29 was my way to determine how to participate. This must be nerd talk, much spam to this post.
  • My footprints of edcmooc in febr, 2013-09-03 and the wikispace of the research project are the best research oriented blog posts which I have written until this. I should continue ..
  • Test your blog 2010-10-15 . This is a way to become famous, but I want to dive deeper to psychological knowledge and I haven’t continued in this way. It was interesting that all the answers belonged to introverts.

In the future I will focus my writing better. I do not participate in any courses but follow discussions according to my interests. Online learning, pedagogical principles of moocs and how research can help to find answers. Those are my topics this year.

Next weekend I intend to copy this blog to a new place and say farewell to edublogs. This platform has served very well, but I am not in a right place, I am not a teacher any more. I move this blog to my site helinurmi.fi or actually my son does it and I gave orders. I am not sure how I’ll continue blogging. Time will tell.

Andy Mitchell, one of those edcmooc digital angels, said me in Twitter that

You need to learn to praise yourself. Your contribution is important…

I have a lot to learn. How could I believe what Andy says?

My blog’s life during edcmooc2

I have a tradition to explore my blog’s life every now and then. Google Analytics makes the exploration easy and tempts to use its devices. I have an ambivalent attitude to this all, because I haven’t set any goals to my blog and I am not after big numbers. A blog needs visitors, it is sure, but the numbers of visits are only raw data. It is not easy to interpret what is happening. I’ll try anyway and give the basic data here:

edc2viewcroMy nine posts are marked in the timeline and you can see the influence of my writings. The biggest number of pageviews is before the course began, 120 views per day.

I blogged 3.9. about my footprints during the first edcmooc and this post was visible in the course news. Perhaps I got readers via the news. No comments but many views – it is digital life. My post from 3rd September got 149 visits and it is twice the numbers of the next posts: The pedagogical principles of MOOCs (79 and 3 for its comments) and My orientation to edcmooc (69+30 to comments). It is easy to see a connection between the facilitators’ actions and the visits to my blog: Pedagogical principles – post was commented on the team blog and Hamish commented to My orientation- post. The following post is human presence in edcmooc (47) and the last is critical peer feedback (12).

I wrote nine posts this time and the posts received 22 comments from six people. In edcmooc1 I wrote more posts (15) and got more comments (32). This time I had a feeling that I participated outside the course and I had a different orientation to my studies. One of the peer reviewers said this precisely in his/her feedback. I was more interested in learning and less in digital cultures. You cannot participate a course twice with similar motives and interests, they change all the time.

I have gathered the information from Google Analytics to a prezi, which I intend to embed in the end of this post. Here I’ll try to handle only the most important numbers. This blog had 579 visitors, 967 visits and 1917 pageviews from 4.11. to 10.12. These numbers are higher than during the first edcmooc in February (721 visits, 1460 pageviews), but I cannot interpret why. This blog includes one post from the year 2010 about learning theories of teacher education, which receives continuous attention : no comments but readers. Is it the good reputation of Finland’s education or what is it? I don’t know. That post was the most popular one during edc2 as well: it got 288 visits. It is more than the footprints (149) or the actual course posts (80- 15). During the first edc the number was 188. The influence of edcmoocs to my blog is perhaps less than I  imagined.

The percent of new visitors during the period was 58, which means 336 new people and 243 ‘old’ones. The ways which the visitors used to find my blog tell something. From 967 visits 231 came directly, Google organic 229 , Twitter 177 and edcmooc sites 116. Google Analytics shows some connection between the acquisition and behavior.

edc2neli

Those who come directly have a higher bounce rate than via organic search or social devices and the referral way is highest in staying. How to interpret, I don’t know. Some people take a glimpse at my blog. Perhaps they remember my name when/if they meet it next time, recognising names is one of the skills on the internet.

Over 200 people had visited my blog more than 20 times and 190 people had read my posts longer than a minute. Perhaps I’ve about 200 permanent visitors. So what? If I had followed the visitors’ interests, I would have written more about learning theories in Finnish teacher education for adults. I am retired now and my interest lies in international open courses and learning at these courses or learning in the internet. It has been my perspective a long time and I want to deepen it to research. That’s why I am so interested in the Footprints wiki and want to assess it in the near future.

Here comes the prezi which includes a lot of information about visits to this blog. Thanks to Google Analytics for the content. I chose a labyrinth template because I got lost there and my ambivalent attitude tells me that this is all boring.

 

 

Critical peer feedback is best in edcmooc

I was lucky again to get appropriate assessment in edcmooc2. My artefact is connected to a research project about emergent learning. The project began after the first connectivism course in 2008, where two of the researchers and I participated. I have been following the project from the beginning and tried to use its description of learning. I think that it is one of the best ways to grasp the dynamics of emergent learning. I wrote blog posts about the method in August and September using edcmooc1 as my example. I wanted to connect my artefact to this research.

So I did a prezi around the project. The prezi includes a video in which Jenny Mackness (the researcher) demonstrates the method. My own contribution is not valuable. Only the idea or my intention is worth considering. I do not like my prezi myself and I have no intention to use it anywhere else. I just wanted to contribute to the end of edcmooc and did something to do that. I am very glad that my peer reviewers understood me.

The feedback was delightfully critical and told me everything I had in my mind after sending the prezi to the coursera platform for assessment:

In many ways, the artifact consists more of a reflection on education than on the themes of the course.

It would have been good to review the main themes of the course before putting together the submission. It is difficult to know which one were being communicated.

This artefact has ‘learning’ and ‘future education’ written all over it. I would have loved a few more pages of information on this subject.

Perhaps you could have explained the theory before showing the video. At the end you wrote what “Jenny said”. I would have loved to know your opinion.

My impression is that the student may have taken this course to reflect on learning rather than to reflect on how digital culture is changing the world. Would have liked to see more focused response.

Here comes the positive side of the feedback. I enjoyed this part of course.

 I really enjoyed your prezi! The video of Jenny Mackness is interesting. I have to admit it is a bit confusing at first but once you get the idea it actually makes sense. It highlights that humans do not learn in the same.

Very good artefact! Thank you for making me think about this kind of stuff! 🙂
Among three of the assignments I marked, this one is the best one, which highlights the course themes and the key concepts in brief.

I like how you started out with writing down your personal objectives for this course. What you wanted to get out of it. Wish I did that as well.

The creator has made a very strong link between the course contents and the themes. The artefact is also related to education.

Good stuff! Really enjoyed watching your artefact and I’ve learned something new.

I have to thank my peer reviewers and agree with their opinions. Now I want to add something . The media (prezi) is not the best for describing a research. I understood that wikispace is much better and it is the form that the researchers have chosen. So it is better to continue inside that wiki. It is open and there are open webinars too if you become interested in it.

My technological skills are not good and I did not manage to connect any voice to the prezi myself. I tried and there was help available but when the deadline schedules changed three times, I stopped trying. Websites or storify could have been more suitable to my ideas. This is all learning and it is more important than a good product. Edcmooc is a good place to try new things and it is my fault that I didn’t use it more. I have to write another post about what I have learned about my motives and passions.

This post is written in honour of the peer feedback. It was working well again in edcmooc. They gave me 1 if you want to know 🙂 We had pass (1) or fail (0) assessment.

The Golden Snitch and secrets of learning

Do you know the Golden Snitch? I mean that one, which Harry Potter caught in Quidditch. Here is a link to the topic. My son used to read all the Potter books in English and I had to do the same. It was good practice and helped me to realise that the golden ball in Ping’s image – see the blog header – is the golden snitch of the Quidditch game. I had that insight while editing the image.

sumu2The snitch flies very quickly and it is difficult to catch. You must be a real seeker in order to succeed in catching it. The other players are disturbing you and there is magic in the air. Not easy at all.

This is my situation just now. I should like to handle learning in my final assignment. I want to get a glimpse of the most challenging learning: learning not only from the past but from the future as it emerges. What is the golden snitch in our edcmooc studies? Of course there are many of those and it all depends of the participants’ point of view, but how do I see the snitch? That is my humble question.

I have got some help today by reading other participants’ experiences. Matt Holland presented 5 rules of being human in a MOOC. His content is near my thinking and I got some advice for tools in the FB group. I could get a robot speak my written English (my mic is not working and I haven’t bought a new one). Prezi offers many easy guides for how to do it. Perhaps I have to use it. Here is a link to Matthew’s blog and his new Prezi.

Rajiv Bajaj shared in Twitter the link to his You Tube presentation Technology in Education. I enjoyed it and gave feedback that it is perfect, do not change anything. Perhaps the heading could be broader? The presentation is not only about technology, I can see wise psychology in it. I’ll probably watch Rajiv’s video many times in order to put my mind in order 🙂

 

Graduation and meeting in Second Life

This is a moment of procrastination in my participation in edcmooc. I should plan my digital artefact – all other participants have already done theirs, but I have not even begun mine. So I have to do something else, it’s logical. The impulse to this blog post was Andy Mitchell’s tweet about Edinburgh University’s graduation in the Second Life (SL). Our facilitators, or some of them were going to that graduation yesterday. Here is the link to the YouTube video named School of Education virtual graduation in SL.

SL is similar to  authentic life experiences. Choosing and building an avatar is a touching and important moment. Your personality transfers to your avatar and everything that happens to her, happens to you. I had a long break in my visits to SL, but in honour of this transhumanism week I decided to check if my avatar is still alive and working. So I found myself in eduFinland and flew around there. Then I went to the discussion forums (general discussions> meeting in SL) to write down the landmarks of the Edinburgh University (SL search gave too many possibilities). I transported myself to the given place and began to fly in order to see better. And I saw an avatar walking in a street. I had to stop flying and descend on the ground.

SLedinburghThe avatar was a handsome young man and because I have a ring which shows me the names of avatars in the neighbourhood, I saw that his name was Esko Levee. It was easy to remember that his real name is Esko Lius and he is a participant of edcmooc. I am not sure if we have met f2f in Finland but we knew each other virtually from many Finnish forums.

It felt like a real meeting on the street in Edinburgh University’s SL. When I watched the video of the graduation, I recognised this place there. I have been there! We had a chat discussion in Finnish , my mike is broken and it’s often  better to write in SL, because voice can disturb other avatars. It was night or late evening as you can see.

My appearance in SL comes from the autumn 2007. The avatar is a Japanese young girl and I have not changed it much. I added green hair and I like it. Some T-shirts I’ve got while visiting in different places. I am lazy when it comes to taking care of my appearance and I have forgotten how to do it in the SL. I should do something to my careless appearance but I am not sure if I want to use my time on clothes or hairdressing. I don’t mind such things in real life nor in augmented realities. But there is something in the SL which I love or the little child inside me loves. I love flying and transporting from place to another. This was a nice meeting and the graduation is worth seeing.

We got more than a course in edcmooc

This time I want enjoy and share my happy feelings around the edcmooc course. The heading is taken from a YouTube video, which JinShenHuang has implemented as her digital artefact. I think that her message completes my conceptual writings about our course. Peer to peer learning and sharing is the point, and it is well conveyed using visualising and short sentences. Jin’s video goes from heart to heart, thanks. And thanks to our technical miracle Andy Mitchell, who tweeted that source (and many others). I’ll embed the video to the end of this post.

My second thanks goes to Ping LW from New Zealand, who shares her image (from our Flickr competition) with Creative Commons, so I could choose her image to be the header of this blog.
cropped-pingked-1k0zw7i.png
The next two weeks we will be enjoying images and digital artefacts in edcmooc. Not bad at all 🙂

 

Human presence in #edcmooc

My heading was first Human presence in massive open courses but I made it shorter. I am following the edcmooc course and contextualise all my thoughts accordingly.

In week 3, we are looking at examples of approaches which respond to the apparent threat to ‘the human’ posed by technology by re-asserting the importance of what is irreplaceably valuable in human ways of being and learning.  We are considering the view that human nature and human ways of being are in some sense under threat by technology, and that this has the potential to undermine the basis of our commitment to humanist ideas which underlie many educational philosophies and approaches to practice, such as equality, freedom and autonomy.

What are the different ways of human presence in purely online-held courses? I have a personal history of working as an online facilitator and I had a feeling about being closer to my adult students online than if it had been f2f. I am convinced that human presence is possible online, but it is not easy to define its conditions. I had an excellent partner, Pekka Ihanainen, with whom I facilitated some online courses for two teacher education colleges (in Finland). We wrote and published about our experiences but only in Finnish. I’ll try now to tell shortly about our findings. As I said in another blog post, I have a feeling that edcmooc is similar with our way of facilitating adult students’ learning.

Dialogical space is a necessary condition and facilitators have a role in creating it. Dialogical space is safe and supporting, creative and challenging. It is the atmosphere in which everyone wants to do his/her best and enjoys the work. Presence can be described in many ways and the parts are connected to each other. This image helps to define the dialogical conditions:

Dia2Facilitating presence includes all actions which help the students to learn. We used the concept “didactical” but it is not used in English and “pedagogical” does not sound good, so I chose the term facilitating presence.

Emotional presence is very challenging and interesting to define. The teacher must be personal, it is not good to hide one’s personality. It is good to locate oneself in some ways. In edcmooc  we took photos about ourselves in a Hangout situation. We can see that we are human beings (with much technology 🙂 ). Emotional connections are between people but also toward online studies. It is good to share problems and solutions and be anxious together. And to build up community humour when it is possible.

Cognitive presence is easy to understand, but it is complex in practice. We have a duty to disturb our students intellectually, said someone in edcmooc. It is good to avoid direct guiding , and better to support students as they find their way. The general guide lines must be clear, but thinking and assessing is students’ work.

When the community reaches a dialogical state and finds its own working habits, every monologue is also a component in the shared dialogue and new connections are found. It is emergent learning, every participant is learning and creating. In edcmooc the photo “competition” in week 3 supports this side of studies, otherwise it could be too serious.

I took a short glimpse at other theorists in this field. I remember Terry Anderson and the many research groups, who were working on this theme in 2006-2007. Here are links to Anderson’s blog post and this slideshare.  This image integrates the basic concepts.

Dia1In the middle of the diagram is educational experience. Social presence includes emotional presence. Setting climate connects social presence to teaching presence.

Supporting the discourse combines social and cognitive presence. Teacher selects and recommends the content.

I like the concept of triggering events, it describes the dynamics of learning. Sense of community is another important concept. Otherwise studies can be only external performance with little engagement. I am myself very sensitive to the atmosphere: I registered to an American mooc which was organised correctly (like edcmooc) but I interpreted that the teachers were not authentical themselves and the course was only a play and all supporting acts were like following rules, and same to each student. I don’t want to tell the name of the course, I wish good luck to them. I registered and watched some videos, that was all I did.

I return back to edcmooc again. Professor Fuller links his talk to our key theme of re-asserting the human. His stance seems to be that ‘you can only be morally credible’ if you are addressing issues of human freedom and equality. Thinking about education specifically, might we see MOOCs as an example of an ‘old humanistic project’, particularly in the promise they appear to offer for democratisation, equality of access and so on? I wanted to say that the humanistic project is possible in certain conditions.

Often the question about online teaching is that what is lacking in it concerning human communication. Hersh’s solution was to incorporate more video and audio components into the course-delivery mechanism. Most professors who teach online already incorporate short video and audio clips into their courses. But it is rarer, Hersh says, for professors to use videos of themselves to teach or interact with their online.  I think that in edcmooc the Hangouts bring the facilitators near us, but the most important thing is the atmosphere of equality and enthusiasm to understand elearning and digital cultures. We are studying with our facilitators and assistants without any hierarchy.

 

Pedagogical principles of MOOCs

Last week we studied the future of digital life and learning in our edcmooc course. One of the recommended articles was Bonnie Stewart’s Massiveness + Openness = New Literacies of Participation? in JOLT. There has been a lot of discussion around different MOOCs after the birth of xMOOCs in 2011. I want to contribute to this discussion using a presentation of Lourdes Guardia. She is professor and researcher of the eLearn Center (Center of Research, Innovation and Training in e-learning) at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). Her presentation was broadcasted online to Turku, Finland and the link is found in this program. I appreciate her researcher attitude because I was tired of hearing about competitions between c and xMOOCs.

The areas of research in which Guardia is focused on are the techno-pedagogical design or instructional design, the educational technology and the didactics, the e-portfolio, and the development of models based on the use of the ICT (e-learning). She has been working in all them participating and coordinating different projects of research and of innovation, at national and international level. She has published different articles, papers and chapters of books about techno-pedagogical design and the use of the ICT. Nowadays she’s participating in projects of research and of innovation about techno-pedagogical design, personalization of the learning processes, e-portfolios and the evaluation of the learning process.

In this slide you can see how Lourdes Guardia presented the long history of online learning. I think our orientation in edcmooc is similar.

lourdes

 

What happened to learning during this long history? What improves and prevents or even obstructs learning? MOOCs are quite new, in 2008 began the connectivist movement and in 2011 the x MOOCs . I participated in CCK08 and my many studies are described in this blog. I’ve tried to assess my learning, beginning from practicing English – my first challenge. The factors affecting behind learning are changing but it is not easy to analyse how  and when learning becomes better or worse.

I didn’t know this situation in Europe : Spain offers more MOOCs than other countries. UK, of course, offers many 🙂

europaThe growth in the number of courses has been rapid. The quantities are always easy to measure but the quality would be more important to know. What is the best pedagogy of MOOCs ?

Lourdes Guardia presented her (and many research groups’) findings as pedagogical principles. These are defined in the following picture:
lourdes2

I agreed with these principles in the online session and I suppose that most of these principles are included in the edcmooc design.

We had a Hangout last Friday and some creative innovations were thrown in the air. We decided to crowdsource the subtitle to our meeting and the content. The recording is available but writing a transcript jointly is an interesting experiment. It follows the principles of empowerment, collaborative learning, social networking, peer assistance, media-technology-enhanced learning.

We also gathered photos about the global classroom. Some people took the photo about computers, I thought that myself must be included in the photo. Someone had a baby in her arms. I liked that idea of global environment. I am waiting for the crowdsourced content. I feel that participating in it requires better English than I have. How can we move from the transcriptions to summaries? Is it the test of quality in collaboration? The language skills restrict many participants’  writing – or I should try anyway, to test how the automatic writer works. I have never tried such a thing earlier. Edcmooc = to do many new things.

Do we agree with Lourdes Guardia’s conclusions? Deep pedagogical debate: is it going on in edcmooc ? We make history.

lourdes3

EDIT 21.11. the first year of xMOOC was autumn 2011 (not in 2010 as I said) and later in 2012 there were more xMOOCs.