My blog and my expertise?

The header image of this blog shows the history of my participation. Five years and four months is a long time and now I have a feeling that I want to change something.

akveblog

In order to deepen my orientation I present more facts which Google Analytics offers me. Here is the overall situation: visitors, visits and pageviews.

Englblogi5vThe numbers of blog posts differ but they don’t correlate directly with the visits. The year 2010 is the top of posts: 20,24,64,16,26,50.

The first two years were connectivism studies CCK08 and 09. It was the beginning of my international participation.

The PLENK2010 course opened more ways and I was active for the first time. The year 2010 seems to be my real beginning towards international virtual life. After that year I have participated in many moocs. American eduMooc gave me some names to follow in Twitter. Two Coursera studies have been great experiences: Fantasy and science fiction. Human mind and Modern world was hard work and taught a lot. ELearning and Digital Cultures was so fascinating that I did it twice. Its facilitators’ team is charming and the community around the course seems to live forever.  First steps of learning and teaching in higher education was nearest to my former work at teacher education. I participated in it twice, first as a student and then as an expert participant. It helped me to find the old educational theorists in the internet and deepen my knowledge.

The following diagram shows the countries from which the visitors came to my blog. The overall number is 130.

Englmaat5vUSA is highest every year but UK goes up in 2013. Edcmooc and fslt are both implemented in British Universities. Australia goes up and more visitors come from there than from Canada. Philippines and India have noticed my blog later. Malaysia could be mentioned too. Europe is less interested in my blog (except UK). Germany was at the top on the first years, now the Netherlands leads the numbers. Finland I have left outside because I cannot separate my own visits from real visitors.

So it is a small English speaking community which I’ve learned to know during these five years. Some of my friends participated in the connectivist moocs but not everyone.  My connections are open and changing all the time. I recognise many names in Twitter and follow their blogs. Although new visitors have apparently come during the courses, the most favourited topics in my blog seem to be very general. They are near my real expertise and my permanent interest. I’ll list the blog posts here in order (how popular they have been):

Learning theories in teacher education from 2010-10-05 and category teacher education are at the top from year to year. Almost half of all direct visits are connected to this topic.This expertise is part of my history and I’ve no intention to continue in this field. They do what they want, it is not my job any more.

Then the numbers of page visits diminish quickly.

  • On connectivism again 2008-09-16 includes a diagram of experiental learning, which we used in teacher education. I suppose that this page is linked by Downes somewhere.
  • Learning theories and technology 2010-10-09 and Learning theories recent discussion 2010-10-07. I remember that Rita Kop appreciated my knowledge about Nordic discussion.
  • Social self organisation 2011-02-24 was connected to a Finnish project published in English. Understanding networking 2011-02-27  followed the same project. There was international interest in the air.
  • Learning Analytics 1st conference 2011-03-04 contains links to presentations. Also the following posts about LAK conferences have got readers for the same reason I believe. How to follow learning (LASI and LAK) 2013-07-12 continues with this theme.
  • Assessment can support development 2010-10-14 deals with the main topic of learning, based on my experiences at the teacher education.
  • Research about mooc pedagogy 2011-12-19 is my permanent interest.
  • I am the platform 2010-09-29 was my way to determine how to participate. This must be nerd talk, much spam to this post.
  • My footprints of edcmooc in febr, 2013-09-03 and the wikispace of the research project are the best research oriented blog posts which I have written until this. I should continue ..
  • Test your blog 2010-10-15 . This is a way to become famous, but I want to dive deeper to psychological knowledge and I haven’t continued in this way. It was interesting that all the answers belonged to introverts.

In the future I will focus my writing better. I do not participate in any courses but follow discussions according to my interests. Online learning, pedagogical principles of moocs and how research can help to find answers. Those are my topics this year.

Next weekend I intend to copy this blog to a new place and say farewell to edublogs. This platform has served very well, but I am not in a right place, I am not a teacher any more. I move this blog to my site helinurmi.fi or actually my son does it and I gave orders. I am not sure how I’ll continue blogging. Time will tell.

Andy Mitchell, one of those edcmooc digital angels, said me in Twitter that “You need to learn to praise yourself. Your contribution is important…” I have a lot to learn. How could I believe what Andy said?

My blog's life during edcmooc2

I have a tradition to explore my blog’s life every now and then. Google Analytics makes the exploration easy and tempts to use its devices. I have an ambivalent attitude to this all, because I haven’t set any goals to my blog and I am not after big numbers. A blog needs visitors, it is sure, but the numbers of visits are only raw data. It is not easy to interpret what is happening. I’ll try anyway and give the basic data here:

edc2viewcroMy nine posts are marked in the timeline and you can see the influence of my writings. The biggest number of pageviews is before the course began, 120 views per day.

I blogged 3.9. about my footprints during the first edcmooc and this post was visible in the course news. Perhaps I got readers via the news. No comments but many views – it is digital life. My post from 3rd September got 149 visits and it is twice the numbers of the next posts: The pedagogical principles of MOOCs (79 and 3 for its comments) and My orientation to edcmooc (69+30 to comments). It is easy to see a connection between the facilitators’ actions and the visits to my blog: Pedagogical principles – post was commented on the team blog and Hamish commented to My orientation- post. The following post is human presence in edcmooc (47) and the last is critical peer feedback (12).

I wrote nine posts this time and the posts received 22 comments from six people. In edcmooc1 I wrote more posts (15) and got more comments (32). This time I had a feeling that I participated outside the course and I had a different orientation to my studies. One of the peer reviewers said this precisely in his/her feedback. I was more interested in learning and less in digital cultures. You cannot participate a course twice with similar motives and interests, they change all the time.

I have gathered the information from Google Analytics to a prezi, which I intend to embed in the end of this post. Here I’ll try to handle only the most important numbers. This blog had 579 visitors, 967 visits and 1917 pageviews from 4.11. to 10.12. These numbers are higher than during the first edcmooc in February (721 visits, 1460 pageviews), but I cannot interpret why. This blog includes one post from the year 2010 about learning theories of teacher education, which receives continuous attention : no comments but readers. Is it the good reputation of Finland’s education or what is it? I don’t know. That post was the most popular one during edc2 as well: it got 288 visits. It is more than the footprints (149) or the actual course posts (80- 15). During the first edc the number was 188. The influence of edcmoocs to my blog is perhaps less than I  imagined.

The percent of new visitors during the period was 58, which means 336 new people and 243 ‘old’ones. The ways which the visitors used to find my blog tell something. From 967 visits 231 came directly, Google organic 229 , Twitter 177 and edcmooc sites 116. Google Analytics shows some connection between the acquisition and behavior.

edc2neli

Those who come directly have a higher bounce rate than via organic search or social devices and the referral way is highest in staying. How to interpret, I don’t know. Some people take a glimpse at my blog. Perhaps they remember my name when/if they meet it next time, recognising names is one of the skills on the internet.

Over 200 people had visited my blog more than 20 times and 190 people had read my posts longer than a minute. Perhaps I’ve about 200 permanent visitors. So what? If I had followed the visitors’ interests, I would have written more about learning theories in Finnish teacher education for adults. I am retired now and my interest lies in international open courses and learning at these courses or learning in the internet. It has been my perspective a long time and I want to deepen it to research. That’s why I am so interested in the Footprints wiki and want to assess it in the near future.

Here comes the prezi which includes a lot of information about visits to this blog. Thanks to Google Analytics for the content. I chose a labyrinth template because I got lost there and my ambivalent attitude tells me that this is all boring.

 

 

Blog story – practicing Prezi #edcmooc

I have never used Prezi and wanted to practice it. It was not easy at all, but I did this story of this blog.

There was an active period at the beginning of the course edcmooc. I wrote a blog post gathering interesting blogs and a new network began to live. Digital viking -concept inspired me greatly and – again – I found new friends. I was happy about my post emergent learning and the comments I received. Other blog posts are more ordinary stories, I was not so enthusiastic myself .

The visits come all over the world, USA and UK come after my own country Finland. The list of cities is interesting. Australian people are active in two cities. The sources, ways to find my blog, are Twitter, Facebook and the course news etc.

This prezi is funny but I have to leave this and begin to plan my final assignment, a digital artefact. I think I’ll not use Prezi 🙂 I copied the code for embedding but it was only a link address. I am not sure if here is any sense in my doings.

another try to embed the story

 

 

Have we always, sometimes or never been human?

That is the great question on third week on #edcmooc. I have taken ‘being human’ so granted that I had forgotten the question: Have we ever been human? Only a small part of mankind lives human live or we can define it? Global dignity could be the aim of mankind, there is a community for it and it is nice to be a member. So what?

On the left you can see my edc file in my Google RSS reader. I added already one,  JuBo , he is a digital viking. The writers of these blogs are human people in many ways, I am sure about it. It is fine to work with them and find new dimensions of digital world.

What does it mean to be human within a digital culture, and what does that mean for education? In the moocs it means sharing and caring, exploring jointly. But it is good to know more than one’s experiences; many processes are going on near technology:

– biomedical developments in cloning, genetic and tissue engineering, transplantation and reproductive medicine

– advances in artificial intelligence and the promise of seamless brain-computer interfaces

– the increasingly mundane and unnoticed embeddedness of digital technology in our everyday lives

– ‘posthumanist’ and ‘anti-humanist’ philosophy which has challenged some of our often taken-for-granted assumptions about ‘human nature’ .

I have been over optimistic and believed that every human being is good and wants to do good to others although I was born after the Second World War. Fear was near in my childhood in Europe.

Human nature and human ways of being are under threat by scientific and technological advances, and that this is dangerous for us because it undermines the basis of who we are and how we define an ethical and fair approach to living. Could that be true? I have believed that sciences and technology help in many problems.

‘the human’ is something that has been made, by history, by politics, by language, by our relations with technology. In other words, ‘the human’ and ‘human nature’ are social categories, not absolute truths. —especially for those who, because of their gender, race, or other characteristics, have historically fallen outside the ruling paradigms of ‘the human’.” The lecture from Steve Fuller threw some more light on this view. It is good to open one’s eyes or is it better to say: mind.

Fuller claims that ‘you can only be morally credible’ if you are addressing issues of human freedom and equality. Thinking about education specifically, might we see MOOCs as an example of an ‘old humanistic project’, particularly in the promise they appear to offer for democratisation, equality of access and so on? I am sure that this is the argument why I am interested in MOOCs. They open global possibilities. How could this be understood better in our countries? Nowadays open courses are considered as enemies to national institutions, dangerous competition going on.

Does  vision of education count as one of Steve Fuller’s ‘old humanist projects’ – the kinds of projects we need to ensure our ‘moral credibility’? We might find it quite easy to agree with his statement that young people should be helped to ‘think about, not just with, technology’, but do we need to depend on an oppositional relationship between the human and the technological to do this?

I have used many copy-paste sentences in this post, because I am tired – I wanted to write this any way so that I’ll remember this week’s studies. Meaningful week. Moral credibility seems to be true on #edcmooc, both facilitators and participants. I am learning, really.

My favourite blogs #edcmooc wk 1

It is a challenging process to start a new Mooc even if I am quite free to just learn whatever I want. I began from the FB group and then visited regularly the course sites: checked the materials for this week and the discussion forums. I gave the address of this blog in Made by you-forum and answered to Vanessa about being a serial Moocer. Then I had to stop the emails from these forums because I could not – did not want to follow the threads via email. I never want to receive many notices, it is my style. I want to choose myself and go to the forums only when I want to take the time for it.

This blog post is my first collection of interesting blogs in Elearning and Digital Cultures # dcmooc. I have picked the addresses her and there, seen something interesting in them. I try to tell shortly why, I hope that you can follow my English (I have a hunch that it is funny sometimes). The first individual which I noticed was

Chris Swift, who was active in FB group. His blog is named Mybackyard and I admire how  it is made, the globe and me, ah!

Ryan Tracey greeted me in Twitter and his blog is Elearning Povocateur. , provoking deeper thinking seems wonderful.  We have perhaps met earlier somewhere?

Now I understood that it is better to use the alphabetical order that you can follow the list. So

Brittany Chan her blog heading is  MOOC Nooc

Catherine Cronin has a blog with her name. and she takes part in many moocs. I want to follow her posts about empowerment and digital identities.

Helen Crump her blog is Learningcreep and she follows other moocs too

Michael Gallagher has a blog with two forenames and he has made artefacts already, wonderful map traveling etc.

Heikki Hallantie lives in Finland as I do and I was happy to find his blog edcmoocheikki He has been an activist in social media issues already many years and he has age, perhaps near mine. Grey revolution is going on…

David Hopkins has been active here and there, the blog is TechnologyEnhanced LearningBlog or Dontwasteyourtime.

Sheila MacNeill work blog and the guestion Moocs as utopian or dystopians. Thank Eleni for dinding this.

Frances Monaghan (Fran) participated everywhere in the forums and then I read from her blog post that she missed more action – at the same time when other were overwhelmed. I suppose she is quicker that many of us and I want to follow her blog elearningmoocedinbourgh in order to learn from her way of web life. First I was near to leave her blog out because she didn’t tell her name in the blog, only Infotechnical.

Sara Roe (?) has a nice blog name Doing by Learning (and vice versa).

Sarah Siegel‘s blog name is SarahSiegelStories. Sarah is my first new friend in FB during edcmooc.

Marc Smith has a blog connected action which interests me because of many networking models

Bonnie Stewart has Theory.cribcronicles blog for thinking and pondering issues. She has another blog about private life and I know her children and husband. We met in CHANGE11 with the theme digital identity.

These are the (first) people I follow and I intend to use this afternoon by reading their posts and commenting them. If you don’t want to see your name here please let me know!

The first hangout is in the evening in my country and I’ll participate in it. What do our facilitators tell us about this week? Just found their blog  edcmoocteam It is fine that they blog as a team!

Three years’ blogging, a learning journey

Qualitative analysis of learning, it is not easy. This time I try to apply a description of value creation on communities of practice. It has been in my mind since I read it in Jenny Mackness’s blog in July after her visiting in a workshop around the topic. Value can be measured collecting data (Google Analytics) and adding to it  individuaal and collective narratives. Individual narratives become part of the collective one: what is happening means ground narratives and aspirations of the community help to assess value-creation. I copied the diagram here from Jenny’s post where you get the links to the book of Wenger, Trayner and de Laart.

Ground narrative: community or network activities can be found  on the left side and aspirational narrative, framing success on the right side of the table. Participation gives the immediate value, some interaction, level of engagement and reflection, having fun.

You can see the quantitative measurements in my former post. I began to participate in CCK08 and a big leap/ jump  in numbers happened two years later, during PLENK. My blog got more visitors. But what is my narrative, what this all means to me when I look it inside my mind.

Cycle 2, potential value is interesting: Skills acquired, inspiration, social connections, tools and documents, new views of learning. Three years blogging has given all these potential values to me. I turned to cycle 2 step byt step. Soon after CCK08 my research interests arouse and we had a meeting during CCK09. At the beginning of my blogging I was a novice in connectivism community but soon I turned to research interest. I read my blog posts from the autumn 2008 and could follow how I compared my own knowledge base to principles given in connectivism – and I took a distance inside my mind. But I was polite and grateful for the courses because I could not participate without these opportunities.

Cycle 3, applied value can be seen during the autumn 2010, more active participation, more to give to other co-learners. Cycles 4 and 5, realized value and reframing value are open in my mind just now and that is why I am interested in this description of value  creation cycles. I know that I must be independent in my learning journey and seek my real co-learners. I can use conferences and courses but only carefully choosing according to my perspective.

Cycle 3 means change in practice, how people use knowledge capital and cycle 4, performance improvement. I have to define these to myself – aspirational narratives cannot be given outside.  Evaluation process needs maturing and it is hard work.

I have been working on these questions many times. My description a year ago was this:

Now I can see the value creation cycles one and two in this image. Cycles are individualized by combining to my history and my skills, cycles differentiate a lot, they are not the same to everyone.

Now I am living through a total reframe and I need new language, new concepts and complexity.Perhaps I must use the concepts given by Kraut: identity-based or bond-based commitment, have written about them a year ago. Or I could use the concept ‘anchor object’ in social self-organisation, written in Feb 2011. Perhaps I cannot accept other anchors but only science and serious research, not opinion-change small talk communities. Learning Analytics gather the instruments, it cannot become a science, only give better and quicker tools. Digital Scholarship needs proper basics, it cannot mean empty publishing.

Interesting times we live anyway. On Wednesday Jenny and Roy have a CIDER session and I have their IRRODL article printed, I am sure that I learn something new by reading it carefully and asking my questions in a dialogue. More information about he session  here in Jenny’s blog.

 

Four years blogging

Actually I have been blogging three years, began in September 2008 – but I have gathered all information using four years 2008-2011, so I speak about four years . I wrote  a blog story in Finnish for a project Open Networking and that is why I studied Google Analytics information which I normally only glimpse sometimes. I learned something and want to share it here in order to understand the meaning of all this information.

First a diagram of blog life with basic information: posts, visitors, visits and views. Total number of comments is 360, via Edublogs.

A great jump in quantities happened in the year 2010. I participated in two open courses: Critical Literacies in summer and PLENK in autumn. I wrote many posts in this year, it correlates with visits, but does not explain the jump.PLENK was a massive course and I participated in a more active manner during it, it must be one explain – other participants noticed me.

During the first two years were CCK08 and CCK09 autumn courses and some posts in spring time. My interest in research about open courses arouse and it continues all the time. I was astonished about the number of visits -that it was so low at those times. I felt that I became international but did I? Some people remember me from CCK08 – there is continuity in course participants. It takes time to become known..

Google Analytics gives information about the countries from which the visits come. There is a jump in 2010 but also in 2011. The number should be 108, it is lower in the image. I do not know why the number is going up all the time. Diligent bots or something else?

USA means here one country, California inside it at the top, but over 30 states have been following this blog sometimes.

I have learned a lot of geography while looking at the map, there were countries I did not know at all. I was wondering where Bahrain is – then it jumped to news and I found the island.

Then I show the map of visits during this year, 2011, because I am wondering why there are so many countries. The number of my friends is the same and I am not blogging diligently, but my blog seems to have a life of it’s own. I do not understand it.

map overly

I have written only few posts and not regularly – but the blog continues its life. There is a change in the traffic sources. Search engines have become the most common source (70%), direct (16%) and the referring sites (14%) bring less people.  It is easy to understand that being a member of community during an online course, the traffic source is ‘referring sites’ – it brought 52% of all visits during these four years.

Still one diagram about the countries from which visitors come to this blog. Finland is the first but it is because I live here and visit often. I have left it away, very few people in Finland follow this blog. I have another in Finnish 🙂 USA has often been the second country during these years, and UK, Canada and Australia have been in top ten. Others have changed. Here comes some information about countries combined to years.

This diagram is in Finnish but you can guess the names of countries. I can help that  Saksa = Germany. Year = vuosi, so it begins with v.  You can see that first years follow my participation in the open courses. The jump happens in the year 2010 in all the countries. This year, 2011, is different. USA and Philippines rises up, but other countries go down. There are only few Canadian visitors now – or they are traveling around the world and visit from other countries.

Google Analytics tells me the most popular posts, too. I was astonished that first comes “Learning theories in teacher education” written in October 2010 and opened 910 times. There was no discussion around it when published but it has been on the top afterwards. This is interesting. Search engineers find it and possibly it is used in many countries, especially Philippines I suppose. Writing a blog means blind helping, openness in all means. You don’t get feedback always.

The following post in the list is “Social self organisation” and it has 326 visits. Then comes “Understanding networking” with 283 visits. Both were written at the end of February this year – I tried to define my perspective to living in the web. I am happy that these posts have got readers. The following post in the list is “Learning theories and technology” from Oct 2010, 269 visits. Then comes my “about” page – people want to check who is writing the blog, easy to understand this, I often do so myself. I mention one popular post still: it is “Learning Analytics 1st conference” from Feb 2011 – there was much blogging around this open conference and so people visited my blog too.

What have I learnt? Don’t know yet, have to link to my earlier analyses and write a new post. This post gathers some quantitative information, thanks to Google Analytics and the project in Finland which got me to check all this info. Feel tired now. Hope that someone gets some ideas about this all..

From local to global participation

Facebook gives a social graph of all my connections. The visualized network inspired me to think about my web life, FB is only a part of it. Blogs and tweets are as important as FB. I leave my private life outside and present here only my “work life” relations. Actually I am retired from working life but I don’t know a better heading for this graph. My professional networks perhaps –  meaning development projects and discussions.

netw130211

I have moved towards the global level during last years. Locally I still have friends in FB who are working (or have worked earlier) in Teacher Education, my last workplace. No one of these friends writes a blog and only few use Twitter – one is writing every day, others very seldom. So I have to meet these people f2f and drink coffee with them 🙂

In Finland I know many active developers and follow ten blogs actively and about 40 via rss when the blog headings seem interesting. Tweets are important also, I get useful information via tweets. It was interesting to notice that all my Finnish FB contacts are connected to each other, less or more. When I looked the graph first time, some were separated.

The global level is broadening and changing all the time. Blogs and tweets connect about hundred people and I already have problems in following. I don’t know well many of them, perhaps ten, but it is easy to find new interesting blogs and tweeters.

I was inspired about the talk of David White, tools become places in web, it is very true. Earlier David gave a presentation about residents and visitors – it opened my eyes and helped my self reflection. I live my professional life in web in both ways, as a resident and as a visitor, seeking new possibilities all the time. I began my international participation in CCK08 and have got most of my web friends in following open courses. I am not working in online teaching practice any more and turn my interest to basic questions in web communities. The world is open and I have free time – this is a great situation!

Test your blog, please!

The Evaluation Week in PLENK2010 is going and I remembered the opportunity to test one’s blog via Myers-Briggs Personality. It is very easy: just write the name of the blog here and you will get the answer in a second. This is technology-enhanced assessment, one of many easy ways. I am wondering why we have so negative attitude against measuring in PLENK even we have many research following happenings. All facilitators do not believe in research or what is this attitude? Research is one (important) way to reflection.

This blog typeanalyzer has scientific research beyond it – it has grounds on Myers-Briggs Personality analysis. Basic concepts are introversion and extraversion plus: sensing, feeling, thinking, intuition, judging, perception. It is interested in the stable parts of human personality: yes we have many stable answers to questions like these:

  • where primarily do you prefer to direct your energy?
  • How do you prefer to process information? – to make decisions?
  • How do you prefer to organize your life?

We have habits, we use same mental muscles to live in this changing world. There is a short questionnaire available to answer these questions and get feedback. You can see how the typeanalyser is working, you need not trust blindly.

Something it knew about me:

If your personality type is INFP then you have some deeply-held values, though there are probably very few people, if any, who know what those values actually are. Privately, you may be a people-person, but others may not recognise it as you show your feelings in indirect, imaginative ways rather than in more conventional expressions of care. You may be looking forward to the realisation of some personal ideals.

If your personality type is INFJ then have a strong, private sense of knowledge and vision, often for hidden things that other people would think can’t be known. You see imaginative possibilities and insights, especially in relation to people, anticipating a future for them that they can’t even see themselves. Although you probably have some strong relationships, your insights may be so unusual that others find them difficult to accept, and you may therefore find it difficult to articulate them.

My blog is written by a Thinker (INTP). How about yours? Any diversity found?

This is an example of expertise knowledge meeting everyday life. I was a little arbitrary (I mean I was not quite sure) to tell about this typeanalyzer. There are problems in giving scientific knowledge to anyone, but I trust you.