Introduction and goals….#change2011

“An educated population is probably the least governable, the most likely to rebel, the most stubborn and the most critical. But it is a population capable of the most extraordinary things, because each person strides purposefully forward, and of their own volition, together, they seek a common destiny”.

Stephen Downes from Access::Future Practical Advice on How to Learn and What to Learn (2011).

It’s appropriate to begin LEARNINGSTREAM with a Stephen Downes quotation. Some two years ago, I came across his OLDaily and since then it is my place for news, views, connections and wide-ranging information on technology and learning.  It helped me find my way….a second childhood of sorts.  The quotation strikes me as appropriate in another way. Over the years, my work has been tempered with philosophy of working with others to achieve “the most extraordinary things…[striding] purposefully forward…seek[ing] a common destiny”. Well, I like to think so.

I work at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. I have been involved in many joint efforts. These have ranged from local projects such as ensuring human rights for a women’s hockey team, to provincial work with farm women and women in science, to a national human rights complaint regarding equity for designated groups in the Canada Research Chairs Program and an international project, funded by the Gorbachev Foundation, with women in villages around Tyumen Siberia.

Last year I taught a course titled “Complexity of Conflict” and as the course progressed I became enamored with learning about ways to teach in a different way. Beyond learning from Stephen Downes and the exquisite linkages, I recently benefitted immensely from Blended Learning with Kelvin Thompson at University of Central Florida and the Eportfolio Community of Practice (EpCoPMOOC) designed and implemented by Carole McCulloch, Junita Lyon, Sandra Stewart and Pauline Wilson. Both online courses were chockfull of information, guidance, encouragement, connections and good design. The Challenge Mentors in the EpCoPMOOC provided answers to technical questions and hosted a series of webinars suited to “eyes wide open learners”. Awesome.

So for now, my Change11 goals are:

  1. Create a weblog that communicates and integrates my learning and connects with Change11 participants.
  2. From the wide array of tools I have experimented with, choose those that are most effective for my learning and teaching and set up a “system” that is useful, accessible and uncluttered.
  3. Demonstrate and apply effective content curation strategies.
  4. Examine literature in what is called “digital divide” and integrate findings and understandings in course design.
  5. Design learning that enables my students to utilize Web 2.0 tools in a variety of contexts.
I am excited about this course and the opportunities it offers. What might we have in common? What are the ways in which we might work together?

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