My thinking of late has turned to an old thorny question buzzing in the back of my brain! Maybe its result of the transition from one project(s) to another and the fact that I’m seeking true meaning for what I do online? Perhaps its my other self providing me with a ‘map’ to where I want to be next. But, on another more practical note, is it my way of framing what I’m doing by being part of #Change11.
I have been viewing some excellent and thought provoking slidedecks from Stephen Downes over at Slideshare and this one in particular has prompted some of this questioning: connectivist learning. This slide in particular has resonated for me as a way to describe how e-learning has changed my brain and my life.
“We are using one of these … to create one of these”!
I agree absolutely with this and I can now explain the changes I have experienced through the networking part of e-learning and how they have impacted on what I do and what I think. Thank you Stephen.
I can genuinely say that my network connections are wide and deep and provide me with all of the answers and more of the questions I need to ask to help others build their own e-capability. I no longer have to wait for discussions and conversations to happen at a face-to-face meeting, although they still do provide the added benefits of collective and collaborative instant brainstorming. My discussions and conversations are mostly held online in community networks, course forums, social networks, text and chat messages. When I wish to find a solution to an e-learning issue; when I have a question about best practices in project processes; and when I need to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the e-learning environment for adult learners – I need to go online and use my networks, my connections, my curations and my colleagues to find the answers. My online personal learning network guides my daily practices.
Incredibly I can usually find a link, an article, a tweet or a comment about the issue I am thinking about by just allowing them to filter into my personal web spaces. Invariably – whenever I am there – something, some one thing, will pop up and lead me to a place where the answers exist. I am constantly amazed at how this happens on a daily basis – is this the law of ‘virtual’ attraction? I have learned to trust this instinctive way of connecting and networking – that’s where my brain has changed – plus I have patience to await the return on this investment of my time.
Does any of this make sense to you? What do you do differently now that you have a personal learning network?
The way I learn has changed too – I am much more likely to engage in a Massive open online course than enrol in a short course facilitated online. I have confidence in directing my own learning and enjoy the freedom of choice in selecting the learning path. That is not for everyone of course, but it certainly is for me and many others who embrace the MOOC way of learning. So with this new knowledge I aim to explore other blended MOOC models for developing e-capability for those I e-mentor.
So what has changed in me? How have I reached this plateau? The answer lies in my Networking; Experiences; Immersion and Connections!
What has changed for you?