A Nomad…

  1. is an apt metaphor for the learner
  2. exists only in becoming and in interaction
  3. is intrinsically motivated toward the pursuit of learning
  4. is another phase of becoming
  5. appropriates the authority of some distant figure who often holds over it
  6. thinks of knowledge not as static, but rather as a flexible element to be alchemically interacted with
  7. is unconstrained
  8. is in constant movement
  9. is not as “losing one’s way” but is as “losing the way”
  10. is restrained from prefixed and definite articles
  11. space is smooth, open-ended
  12. mode of distribution is nomos (=arraying oneself in space), not logos
  13. moves in amorphous, informal spaces, nonlinear structures
  14. finds a viable milieu in the complex and chaotic structure of the web


Remembering Umberto Eco’s A Componential Analysis of the Architectural Sign /Column semiotic analysis through this stunning paper entitled; “Community Tracking in a cMOOC and nomadic learner behavior identification on a connectivist rhizomatic learning network” by : Bozkurt, A., Honeychurch, S., Caines, A., Bali, M., Koutropoulos, Ap., Cormier, D.


The human-technology relationship


Examining Rejection, Acceptance and Symbiosis

Technology Acceptance Model (TAM): Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA)/ Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). Acceptance depends on perceived ease of use and usefulness; the effort, high performance scheme. TAM also depends on contextual factors such as gender, consequence measures such as attitude etc. TAM is useful in understanding the early stages of the human-technology relationship.

Symbiosis:technology, user and context share an equivalent role in forming a relationship. Techs and human co-evolve. The more the technology is perceived as skillfully completing human capacities, the more it leads to symbiosis. To achieve a state of symbiosis an adjustment period is needed during which the humans gain 01. a sense of control, 02. a perception of a benefit of mutual adaptation and 03. a perception of utility and efficiency. The transition to symbiosis happens for two reasons: the growth of a close relationship with technology and the intricate connection of activity and use of the technologies.



Adelé S., Brangier E., “Evolutions in the human technology relationship: rejection, acceptance and technosymbiosis”, IADIS International Journal on WWW/Internet, Vol. 11, No 3, pp 46-60, ISSN: 1645-7641, available here

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What’s not working in education


From Anna Kamenetz’s  article in nprEd:

  • Achievement standards: as somestudents are left behind while others advance
  • Achievement tests: high performing schools give fewer tests
  • School choice: private schools offer no significant advantages over public schools, on average
  • Small class size: small class size needs to be paired with training and support for teachers to collaborate more closely with students
  • More money: no relationship between money spent and results earned


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Projections of future education


The breakdown by education level is especially interesting: It shows that our world will be inhabited by more and more educated people. The projection shows that the number of people with no education will decrease continuously and that by the end of this century virtually all people in the world will have received some level of education (…) By 2050, only five countries are predicted to have a rate of no education above 20%: these are Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali and Niger. There is also expected to be a large increase in the numbers of people obtaining degrees, while more people complete secondary school.


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Degreed is a startup that aspires to become a credentials’ bank. It does so by trying to create a standardized assessment for skills no matter where the individuals got them. Only a year ago it was funded with a 21 million investment to fuel the continued growth of lifelong learning and skills’ measurement for companies and professionals. Degreed seeks to create a common language for grading.

In the log in process Degreed asks you to Use the Degreed free online platform to achieve your learning goals, whether your goal is to learn a new skill or polish an existing one. You then choose from a variety of themes the ones that appeal to you more and you begin attending related material offered to you in the platform. Degreed keeps track of any books, articles, videos or even courses you might read about or watch and accumulates the traces of this material to help you prove your competencies.

In this week’s Economist the article: The return of the MOOC: Established education providers v new contenders, introduces Degreed along with Pluralsight as two companies that are trying different ways to answer to the difficult task of assessing one’s capabilities. The author claims that as long any training gets recognized and accredited it is even more likely that more lifelong learners will receive a continuing education through MOOCs or any other form of adult learning.

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The BASE* is Up!


The figure shows that over 100 million documents* (about 60% open access) were open through 5,000 content providers.The growth rates (22% for documents, 27% for content providers) are particularly impressive given the high pre-existing content rate.

In the article entitled “Dramatic Growth of Open Access” additional resources are mentioned such as: OECD iLibraryDirectory of Open Access BooksarXivsocArXivbioRxivRePECInternet Archive

* BASE: Bielefeld Academic Search Engine

**Currently in BASE: 103,458,284 Documents of 5,028 Content Sources

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Cognitive Science and Learning


Excerpts from Clark Quinn’s article on cognitive science entitled “The Cognitive Science Behind Learning

01 .learning is about strengthening the connections between certain neurons. It’s safe to say the neurons that fire together, wire together (…) 02. to make learning persistent, it needs to be spaced, or reactivated and strengthened over a period of time (…) 03. the amount of time over which to practice, and the total quantity needed, depends on the complexity of the task and the amount of time between practice and performance as well as the time between performance opportunities (…) 04. learning and instruction is about designed action and guided reflection (…) 05. at the cognitive level, content ideally is a mental model, a suite of causal and conceptual relationships that provide a basis for explanation of what happened and predictions about what will happen (…) 06. one robust finding around models is that learners will build them, and they’re remarkably hard to extinguish if wrong; instead, they get patched (…) 07. another robust finding is that learning leaders go wrong by bringing in inappropriate models. Most of the mistakes we see are systematic, not random

I object to number 04’s designed action and guided reflection as they insinuate that the person who does this is not the individual learner but someone else p.e. the instructor (?) but I do like the reference to the temporal parameter in learning (nos 02 and  03).

*Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary, scientific study of the mind and its processes. It examines the nature, the tasks, and the functions of cognition. Cognitive scientists study intelligence and behavior, with a focus on how nervous systems represent, process, and transform information. Mental faculties of concern to cognitive scientists include language, perception, memory, attention, reasoning, and emotion; to understand these faculties, cognitive scientists borrow from fields such as linguistics, psychology, artificial intelligence, philosophy, neuroscience, and anthropology.

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