Monday, July 12, 2010

On George Siemens' book, Knowing Knowledge (2006)

I've finally finished reading George Siemens' Knowing Knowledge (2006). I can't count the number of times I tried to read this book since I joined the CCK08 course, only to stop after the first few pages. Two things bug me about the book, the crazy typography and the graphics that reminds me of 1950's magazine graphics. My initial impression was that this book was about training in corporations. I was wrong.

This is my reading of Siemens work. In it he provided an analysis of the nature of knowledge in the light of the digital age. He then presents connectivism as learning theory that responds to the issues raised by that analysis. And in the final chapters he proposed approaches to implementing connectivism in organizations. This summary does not do justice to the work, you'll have to read it yourself :-).

It affirmed a lot of what I understood about connectivism and added a few more pragmatic stuff. Although I would have wanted an elaboration of the second domain of the AESI implementation i.e. Network and Ecology. Perhaps a case study of the implementation would have been instructive, especially in distance education. The tools of analysis in domain 1 would also need a manual of sorts. I also wonder how much had changed in Siemens' views since 2006?

All in all it is insightful. It's one of those books that feels like opening windows in a stuffy classroom in order to let the cool breeze and some sunshine in. I highly recommend this book to every educator.

P.S. I wished I could give a better review but I'm still reflecting on a lot of what was said in the book. A free copy of the book is available at  George Siemens released it for free under a Creative Commons license. Unfortunately appears to have been abandoned. I don't know what flavor of the CC license it is released in. You can also buy a copy of the book at

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