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Showing posts from July, 2015

#SchoologyNEXT 2015, Reflections and Takeaways

Schoology NEXT 2015 was a fantastic celebration of learning and connecting. Wednesday afternoon following the conference I was reflecting from the back of a limousine. Not my usual mode of transportation to a meeting, but it was only a 45-minute ride, and parking in Chicago's North Loop can be quite expensive. So, I saved money by riding in style. The ride home gave me a chance to check in on social media ( #SchoologyNEXT ) and thank those folks who hosted the event, as well as, those who had impacted my learning during the previous three days. My head is full of new ideas, practices, and questions sparking further investigation. Suffice to say; there were many tantalizing takeaways from Schoology NEXT with the most significant being the overwhelming generosity of the presenters, attendees, and Schoology team members. Shared lessons, shared courses, shared experiences, impressive signage, amazing swag, and terrific food dominated the scene at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers.

What Are Connected Learning "Centers" and Why Do We Need Places Without Spaces?

Do you really need a learning management system?   Who needs a digital portfolio?   Are e-portfolios past their educational used-by date? These are examples of posts discussing the merits of tools used to manage and organize evidence of learning. A few months ago, I discussed the value of every learner having their own domain on the Internet. Autonomy, creation, and self-organization of information were key aspects of my position. However, a few readers asked, "where's the scaffolding and structure?" With divergent opinions being shared I want to clarify my thinking on web tools, and their purpose. I want to create a focus, or a center , for the fragments of information made available through my network. According to George Siemens, an expert on socially networked learning and  connectivism , information fragmentation contributes to a lack of coherence and understanding.  "Fragmentation of information requires that we weave together elements into some type o