Towards personal learning

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I came across this downloadable book by Stephen Downes via Paul Prinsloo. The title is great ‘’Towards personal learning - Reclaiming a role for humanity in a world of commercialism and automation’. Stephen is well know for being an advocate of Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) and personal learning, and is a regular keynote on these and related topics. Stephen did a nice video explaining the difference between PLES and VLES as part of the PLE conference in 2012. The first paragraph sets the scene:

 

In the five years after Connectivism and Connective Knowledge was posted we saw the phenomenon of MOOCs appropriated and commercialized, the rise of artificial intelligence, analytics and personalization, and the ubiquity of mobile devices. It’s all pretty much what was predicted, and yet the reality feels so different. We’re not in an age of breathlessness and hope, as we were even in 2012, we’re in an age of anger and cynicism.

 

He lists a number of reasons for why he focused on personal learning:

  • The first is the idea of autonomy in a connected world.
  • A second is the idea that we need to reorganize knowledge in such a way as to better prepare people for a complex and changing world.
  • A third is the tension between commercial good and social good, especially with respect to open learning and open content, but also with respect to society and values generally.

I haven’t had the chance to read the book yet, it’s over 750 pages! However skimming the content list it looks like a really rich and interesting read. 

 

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