(This post is about the Massively Online Open Course called Connectivism and Connective Knowledge being taught by George Siemens and Stephen Downes from September to December 2008. Over 1900 participants have signed up, and I am facilitating the Second Life cohort for the course. Over the following months, I will be posting about the experience, home work assignments, and other materials related to our activities.)
Cross posted from the Chilbo Community Blog:
Following the end of the very successful Chilbo Summer Fair, we said goodbye to the Ferris Wheel and fabulous rides, artworks, and projects and made way for a new three month project in Chilbo.
Connectivism Village in Chilbo
The Main Gate of the Connectivism Village down in the south Madhupak area of Chilbo.
This month marks the start of the Connectivism & Connective Knowledge course, a Massively Online Open Course. From the course info:
Connectivism and Connective Knowledge is a twelve week course that will explore the concepts of connectivism and connective knowledge and explore their application as a framework for theories of teaching and learning. It will outline a connectivist understanding of educational systems of the future. George Siemens (SL: Whatever Russel) and Stephen Downes â€“ the two leading figures on connectivism and connective knowledge – will co-facilitate this innovative and timely course. The course will run from September 7, 2008 to November 29, 2008 and will be fully delivered online.
Over 2000 participants from around the world have signed on to take part, and several members of the Chilbo community are fellow students, including Gann McGann, Olando7 Decosta, Samuel Sputnik, Sine Rennahan, Tara Yeats, and Wainbrave Bernal. The Chilbo Community is hosting the Second Life cohort of the class, and Cosimo Urbanowicz has also joined some of the early discussions and helped with the construction of the Connectivism Village down in Madhupak.
SL Cohort Wiki: http://chilbo.wikispaces.com/Connectivism+Course+in+Chilbo
SL Cohort Googlegroup: http://groups.google.com/group/connectivismSL
SL Cohort Tag: CCK08SL
Second Life Cohort Weekly Meeting Times:
Tuesdays at 11AM SLT (-7GMT)
Thursdays at 6PM SLT (-7GMT)
Sundays at 5PM SLT (-7GMT)
Purpose of the Connectivism Village
Initially, the impulse was simply to see if other students in the course who also had Second Life accounts were interested in meeting weekly in-world to discuss the Connectivism course. Though there are many communications tools used as part of the course structure, I’ve begun to feel I haven’t really “met” someone until I’ve “seen” them – even if that meeting and seeing takes place in avatar form. Psychologically, it seems as if I don’t feel the same level of engagement with another person through their blogs, tweets, or discussion board posts unless I’ve “met” them first, and I was interested in meeting other students in the class.
Thursday is ladies night? Members of the Connectivism course discuss the first week in Chilbo’s Shrubbery Amphitheatre.
But as I began to read more about Connectivism, I started to think that it might contain concepts that could be better visualized in 3D, and for SL building, the Second Life cohort would need land and prims. After talking with folks in the community, we cleared up the Fairgrounds area and made room for a temporary Connectivism Village project that would last three months and house members of the course who needed a home base in Second Life.
Small mini-homes and offices are available for members of the Second Life Cohort of the Connectivism course for the duration of the class time. Some students are interested in finding roomates!
The Fairgrounds area is also large enough to host some central facilities and resources for the course, to help make sense of the plethora of web based feeds, tools, readings, and course media. The Connectivism Second Life Cohort Office will simplify the process of folks joining the cohort, and the Connectivism Reading Room contains all of the assigned weekly readings and some introductory materials for the course.
The Connectivism Reading Room can help students visualize course readings and discussion archives, as well as provide a place to discuss readings ad hoc through the week.
The Connectivism Course Tools Sundae Shop is a whimsical take on the somewhat overwhelming nature of the course structure. With several websites, communication mediums, RSS feeds, and course emails, Moodle forums, Facebook, and on and on, it’s a little rough trying to figure out which tools will work for your particular needs. The Sundae Shop is a metaphor for taking the flavors you like and sampling some of the others, not putting every choice on the sundae!
The “Menu” of various course tools in the Connectivism Sundae Shop.
Beyond the few buildings near the plaza, however, I think it will be the Connectivism Sandbox that will hold the most interesting content of the course. Here we can play with models, particles, sets, artwork, media.. whatever strikes our fancy as we play with the concepts of the course and learn more about Connectivism. For those who are new to building in Second Life, visit the Ivory Tower of Primitives for a walk through, self-paced building tutorial. The Ivory Tower is a cultural institution of Second Life and shouldn’t be missed even if you’ve learned on your own!
An overhead view of the Connectivism Village in the Chilbo Community (Madhupak sim).
I look forward to seeing how the Second Life cohort of the course progresses, and I encourage anyone from Chilbo to participate or check it out! If you have time to wander down, please say hi to any students you see too! They are members of the Chilbo Community Building Project group and have the group tag “Chilbo Connect!” ~ Fleep