In today’s hangout, both fathers of Connectivism were unanimous.
“There is automation that enables choice & human agency & that which doesnt” (@gsiemens, see @Autumm’s tweet)
It is encouraging that they are on the same side when it comes to the important issues of educational technology.
It sounds simple but it is really very important, and it is easy to forget it because it is easy to be too much enthused about technology. For me, the issue of empowerment vs. patronization has been a central one, see my blog post “Between Empowerment and Patronization: 40 Years IT“.
Of course, choice in IT may also be intimidating, when the user interface is stupid and the help texts mindlessly reiterate nonsense like “select the desired option” — because the programmers were too lazy to think enough about the options themselves.
And some users are easily contented with perceived control. A dashboard — doesn’t this sound great? Indeed I picture my ideal PLE as a dashboard, and start ramp into my PLN.
But openedX’s dashboard means the point where I could navigate to my various edX classes. For me, it is only always an annoying obstacle between the start page and my only one course, NRC01PL. (Besides this, it is annoying during the startup how quickly the “remember me” expires, and that they don’t tolerate a space after my email address, as it is copied after doubleclicking.)
So I think it is important to distinguish between true control and disguised patronization. To learn this distinction, may be even more important than crap detection (if I dare to say this on an April 1st ?). Skills like such distinctions are not acquired through memorization but often through navigating diverse spaces. So Stephen’s formula of March 18 is spot on:
“It’s not that there is nothing to learn, it’s that it’s complex and needs to be navigated… not memorized”
Navigating through choices, not via pre-programmed walkthroughs.
But I should add that I understand the choice to select edX at this stage: because it speaks some LTI language which is needed for LPSS’ interfaces. At the threshold between an old type system and a new type paradigm, I have often met such solutions of gateways, proxies and encapsulations that mitigate the legaccy system.