Online Professors for Free

New York Times has an article about the best of online professors. Now that many universities are making their lectures available online for free, sometimes directly and sometimes through services like iTunesU, the next logical step is to separate the wheat from the chaff. Who are the best? Read the article.

Cognizing and offloading Cognitive Load

In linguistincs and psychology we talk about the cognitive load of any task. A task that requires calculation or analysis has a larger cognitive load. A task in a foreign language, or using an unfamiliar tool, like a computer, also increases cognitive load.

David Peskovitz over at BoingBoing has a friend at the Institute of the Future Mathias Crawford found this article about Cognizing entitled Offloading Cognition onto Cognitive Technology by Itiel Dror, and  Stevan Harnad talks about

“Cognizing” (e.g., thinking, understanding, and knowing) is a mental state.

And how to offload some of the cognitive load onto technology. In our discussions over at cck08, the Connectivist class  by Siemens and Downes, echoed across the web (search your RSS for cck08), where we are talking about the nature of knowledge, and the connectivist idea that it’s most basic element is connections. Connections between neurons, between people, and between organizations and concepts. Check it out.

cck08 about to start

One of the blogs I read (I think it was Robin Good’s) sent me to cck08, an open online class in Connectivism. I’ve been curious about this concept of distributed knowledge and its use in learning and education. It is coming at just the right time. George Siemens posts in blogs I read regularly, and I am looking forward to interacting with what look to be a huge group (200 have sent in self- introductions, 2,000 have expressed an interest). Can’t wait. Look for my reactions here and in their class Moodle. and on twitter, I’m TokyoKevin.