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ERIC Number: EJ1024184
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-1072-4303
The Elephants in the Fire Hoses
Stevens, Vance
TESL-EJ, v17 n4 Feb 2014
In this article, Vance Stevens describes how access to what he calls "star performer educators" as either up-­and­-coming in their field, or experienced and polished practitioners, have changed with access to the internet. They are clearly passionate about what they do, and what they do has become second nature. They touch hearts and minds, and enable change in the young and old. Stevens remembers when teachers once had to attend conferences in order to have encounters with "star performer" educators. Things are different today. Time with star performer educators is abundant, not scarce. Online access has made the "stars" more like guides on the side, encouraging voices from throughout the mix of those present. It is easy for people sharing passions to connect and hear each other, and to continue interacting through their learning networks after an online event. Due to ever more access to online resource sites, these events became part of what is commonly seen as a "fire hose" of information, gushing all around us. The trick to benefiting from this growing plethora of resources is to work out strategies to sip from the hose without being knocked over by the water rushing past. Yet, Stevens continues, many are stuck on just that problem: What is going on online? How can we make sense of what is essentially chaotic? How do we prepare students to leave safe learning environments and step into chaos? This is where the "elephants in the fire hoses" come in. The "elephant" represents the entire world of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) resources geared toward learning from the "fire hose"--individual online sites. Stevens suggests visualizing this by zooming out and envisioning the fire hoses arrayed as threads in a distributed network (the elephant). Then, zoom in to catch snippets of the content in the streaming hoses. The theory suggests that learners forming and learning through networks have available to them knowledge that they can access as needed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A