A Brief Introduction

Heh, here I was believing that I could get away without blogging in my life. Anyways, my name is Jon and I work in some ways with e-learning (whatever that means…) at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. I also teach web based technologies (searching techniques, Fireworks, XML) through Continuing Education at the college. The purpose of this blog is to collect my thoughts about Connectivism and the course that is being facilitated by Stephen Downs and George Siemens. Some of those thoughts will be required course work (like this introduction piece), some of them will be personal observations of what the course and the learning means to me.

At the college I assist professors using several different e-learning platforms, including First Class (known locally as FRED), Blackboard and Can8. I also dig up nuggets of information that might be useful to teachers using technology. As a student at Brock University in their Bachelor of Education (Adult Education) course, I’ve used Sakai and WebCT so far, and I’m sure I’ll use many more as we move forward.

On a personal level, I think I’ve situated myself well for this e-learning thing – I graduated from Sheridan College with a diploma in Media Arts and continued my education at Mohawk College for computer programming. Both taught me skills that I use today and most days, so I guess that is the definition of a useful education. I also chuckle at the notion of edupunk, as I’ve been involved in punk rock for most of my adolescent (and adult – whatever that is!) life.

I’m interested in the Connectivism course as I’m interested in the ways people learn. Aside from that, I’m very intrigued by the decentralized notion of learning – Paolo Freire’s beliefs certainly come into play here – and the relationship between connectivism, common knowledge and authorities in subject matter.

My requirements for a successful course is a difficult question to answer – certainly gaining knowledge and a greater understanding of connectivism is the ultimate goal. Some lively discussion will have to take place; I’ll certainly be interested to see how the course plays out as the sheer numbers seem staggering to me.