Entries by a MOOC participant
Just started Dave Cormier’s Rhizomataic Learning: The Community is the Curriculum on the P2PU platform with 300 like minded individuals, many of whom I’ve met in the MOOCisphere in the past year — EDCMOOC, ds106, CICMOOC, and of course, the Fraingers. In the introduction to the course, Dave has asked us to imagine we are going to camp for 6 weeks. Love the metaphor. Many people will see what’s available at the cafeteria, but I want to go directly to the arts & crafts tent and start making stuff. I don’t want to do the cookie cutter ceramic vase or the felt animals. I want to make stuff with other campers. Looking forward to the ride.
So it seems fitting that the Week 1 Challenge revolves around cheating. We are encouraged to use cheating as a weapon. “How can you use the idea of cheating as a tool to take apart the structures that you work in? What does it say about learning? About power? About how you see teaching?”
This made me think about how our ideas of cheating (elevated to a lofty plagiarism in our institutions as a punishable offense) have come to be transformed to the “Remix” in an Open Online Learning Environment. Remix is blatant and open cheating, stealing and plagiarism — while acknowledging the original source but improving and embellishing upon the original so that is becomes something new and more importantly has meaning for the remixer — and demonstrates new learning.
I remember my first remix “We are All Artists,” inspired by Tim Owens. The best part about this presentation was that it was the first time I used all my own photos. For me, the beauty of the remix was in my own learning. It is this feeling of accomplishment that I like to share with others in the process of co-creation. And, as a teacher, it is this process that I would like to encourage in my students.
In searching my browser history for articles and presentations on plagiarism that I have recent read, these were the ones that stuck in my head:
1. In Clint Lalonde’s Blog: “Remix, Mashups, Aggregation, Plagiarsim, Oh My” he bemoans the TurnitIn infographic, The Plagiarism Spectrum” that shares a recent survey by teachers rating the severity of the type of plagiarism.
“Remixing is the 4th most nefarious form of plagarism, and mashups are #7…at least according to these 900 teachers and instructors. This saddens me because I happen to consider these two activities some of the most creative and original cultural acts happening today.”
I couldn’t agree more, and it seems that one of the biggest challenges we have here is the education of our teachers!
2. In Jennifer Carey’s blog: “Plagiarism vs. Collaboration on Education’s Digital Frontier“, she points to a recent PEW research study that found while educators find technology beneficial in teaching writing skills, they feel it has also led to a direct increase in rates of plagiarism and infringement of intellectual property rights. And she rightly concludes, (IMHO):
“Perhaps instead of focusing our concerns on technology as a wonderful aid to plagiarizers, we should focus on its ability to foster creativity and collaboration, and then ask ourselves (we are the clever adults here) how we can incorporate those elements into our formalized assessments.”
So, we need to emphasize the need to revise our formalized assessments to not look for the right answer but to assess the processes of creativity and collaboration. This is more than education of our teachers, this is a paradigm shift in the culture of standardized testing.
And finally, the conversation would not be complete without sharing Kirby Ferguson’s Ted Talk “Embrace the Remix.”
“Copy, transform and combine. It’s who we are, it’s how we live, and of course, it’s how we create. Our new ideas evolve from the old ones.”
Technology has given us powerful tools to communicate, collaborate and co-create. We need a paradigm shift in education to see these tools as just that and to encourage their use by creating innovative lessons where students can thrive in the demonstration of their knowledge and not simply “Cut and Paste.”
How are you communicating, collaborating and co-creating in Rhizomatic Learning Community?
1. Make sure you add to the community Vialogue started by Kevin Hodgson @dogtraxx
2. Not to mention checking out my own Pinterest Board “Rhizomatic Learning: An UnLearning Camp” on the subject (shameless self-promotion)
3. Other interactive applications that may be of interest to you in gathering your tribe: Flipgrid, VoiceThread, Padlet, or these 12 iPad Apps recommended by TeachThought.
4. B sure to check out what other people in the Community have to say about Rhizomatic Learning and leave a comment on their blog. After all the Curriculum is the Community.
Thanks to Madhura Pradhan for the parting shot “individually each fish would be eaten up – but together they are a force”
How creating works by hand opens the mind, establishes a sense of self and brings peace.
Doug Belshaw's blog
Amy's Whimsical Musings