Archive for the ‘CCK08’ Category

First thoughts on the value of CCK08 online course

September 6, 2008

Wow. Recent postings suggest that 1700 people are now signed up to CCK08 from all around the world. Thanks to The Clever Sheep, you can see at a glance where we all hail from. The focus of the course is on how effective learning takes place in a networked world, and by actively participating in the experiment we get to experience such ‘connectivism’ for real. I’m particularly interested in how we can use new tools and techniques to improve the learning experience for our students who are about to begin their traditional ‘chalk and talk’ University courses, and what we need to change about the way in which we organise ourselves and perform our role as tutors.   

Even just reading all the introductions and blog postings from everyone is impossible. While I’m used to running online courses with large volumes of time-critical postings, this is on a different scale entirely. My proposed strategy for managing time while maximising the benefit from the course is as follows:

1.      Dip into recent postings and comments a few times per day via the RSS feeds which I’ve pointed at my Google page.

2.      Write up my thoughts and key learning points as I go along on this blog

3.      Skim the reading list rather than get left behind (even the pre-reading consists of 4 hefty pdfs, 50-70 odd pages long…)

4.      Remember that term starts in a couple of weeks…

Let’s see how it goes…

Anyway, here are a few thoughts on what I’ve learned so far:

The ‘digital divide’ is now less about access to the web and more about whether we understand how to participate. Those who have the skills, time and confidence to navigate the chaos will gain access to new opportunities, find audiences for their work and enrich the lives of others. The rest will not – because they will be trapped on the wrong side of the divide.


We are moving away from a world in which an ‘elite few’ produce content for students to passively consume, towards one in which everyone has a more active stake in shaping the production and updating of that content. This ‘participatory culture’ has low barriers to expression and civic engagement, and strong support for creating and sharing the material, facilitated by a tutor acting as informal mentor rather than expert gatekeeper to pre-set and ‘approved’ content.


Learning in a networked society involves understanding how networks work and how to deploy them effectively, whether the task be to complete an assignment or  dissertation, obtain a new job, promote a business or build a personal brand.  It involves understanding where information has come from and when to trust (and when not to trust) others to filter and prioritise relevant data.


Food for thought…