September 8, 2008

Today is the official start of the Connectivism and Connective Knowledge course, a huge undertaking by George Siemens and Stephen Downes.  Although pale in comparison, my participation in this course will undoubtedly prove to be an undertaking of some large size itself.  You see, I have the attention span of a ___ (fill in the blank; my score of 39 puts me up there with, oh let’s say, a woodchuck).  Keeping up with the course will test this 39.

That being said, my homework for the course asks that I offer some background about myself and reference to my interests in or expectations for this course.  First, the background:

:: I played in the sand pile with toy trucks and tractors for the first 10 or so years.  Progressed to real tractors sometime after that.  Left tractors behind for Ph.D. in genetics and things botanical.   Taught at Xavier University of Louisiana for a bunch of years.  Now doing faculty development work at Ferris State University in Michigan.   Have a small, real John Deere tractor of my own now for no particular reason.

:: Interests?  Expectations for this course?  (This will test the 39 and your tolerance for incomplete sentences.)  Learning.  Want to know more about theory, practice, and social, emotional, neurological, and other dimensions.  Sucked in more each day to Web 2.0 experience, despite deliberate efforts to keep it at bay.   In the end, I’m seeking better language for theories and experiences for the learning/Web 2.0 milieu.

Common theme

September 3, 2008

The first real consideration I gave to starting a blog was in early 2006 when a friend of mine suggested I start one.  He said, “You need to share your thoughts with others.  Let people know what you’re thinking.”  Hell, I wasn’t even sure myself what I was thinking at the time.

You see, I, along with my family, had made a difficult decision to leave New Orleans.  Months early, we’d experienced the Federal Flood right there in our living room.  And kitchen.  And bedrooms.  And, well, I needn’t belabor the point.

Actually, maybe I should … and University, and kids’ schools, and friends’ homes…

Anyway, I was reluctant, sad, and regretful.  Yet hopeful, in some small way, that what we had decided would be okay.  And that we would be okay.

I’m still reluctant about many things.  Which brings me back to this blog.  I hadn’t thought again about starting a blog until I read this morning, “Set up your course blog…”

And so, here I am and here’s my blog, fulfilling — at least partially — the “pre-week 1” activities associated with a course in which I am enrolled called, “Connectivisim and Connective Knowledge.”

Oh, in case it was just too subtle, the title of this post, “Common theme,” is simply a reference to my inherent reluctance about so many things.  For example, I was reluctant to leave New Orleans.

And I’m reluctantly starting this blog.