Week 6 (2): Siemens article

As you read this consider how the assumptions, changes, models and future possibilities apply (or don’t) to your teaching context?

What resonates? What seems interesting?

  • Learner centred education, greater learner control, greater control over content creation
  • space and time doesn’t affect conversations any more
  • “technological developments permit individuals to experience events previously unattainable due to cost and access.” (Siemens, 2008)
  • The capacity to acquire knowledge is more important than what you know now.

What confronts? What seems interesting?

That universities must change to survive – that the current modus operandi will not cut it. This is actually irrational, as I understand Siemens (and others) arguments around this but still struggle with the reality of it.

“The view of experts as sole providers and evaluators of information seems untenable when change is so rapid” (Siemens, 2008)

Although this argument is reasonable, I wonder at how many academics (as experts) would struggle with this proposition. So confronting not so much for myself but I can see how it might be for the academy at large.

What might participatory pedagogies look like in your context?

  • an informal community of practice
  • a peer support network that focuses on outcomes for members

Do any of Siemens (2008) systemic changes appear relevant to you and your context? Could you ponder these? What else might you do?

Absolutely relevant to my context – although I am certain that my institution is not at the stage where it is ready for the kind of shifts that Siemens discussses.

Is systemic change beyond your capacity for Assignment 2? Will you be limited to your own practice, or can you consider aiming for more systemic change?

I work in an institution where the philosophy of face to face teaching is fundamental: classrooms and hierarchies are still very much a part of the status quo. Technology and the networked world are considered supplementary and complementary to these foundations and are part of a blended learning approach. I cannot see that my institution is ready to implement the systemic change that Siemens is alluding to. However I also feel that systemic change can occur incrementally, over time and influence institutional directions and intentions by taking place at the individual level. McIntyre’s paper that I mention in a previous post makes a case for systemic change that occurs as a result of “disruptive innovation”.


McIntyre, S. (2014). Reducing the digital literacy divide through disruptive innovation. HERDSA Review of Higher Education, Volume 1.

Siemens, G. (2008). New structures and spaces of learning: The systemic impact of connective knowledge, connectivism, and networked learning.


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