scholarship in public

Taking a Course by Following a Course

My brain isn’t very happy with the paradigm shift (yet), but I am taking Stephen Downes’s cMOOC E Learning 3.0 by following it in my feed reader (Feedspot).

When I say my brain isn’t very happy I mean that the part of my brain that is used to a course having one specific path and medium. I am thrilled to be so challenged.

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scholarship in public

What is Learning Design, anyway?

For the past couple of weeks, I have been engaged in a cMOOC with Stephen Downes, ELearning 3.0. Of course, engagement is a tricky thing. I fully intended to be on top of everything, every day, but I have had to dip in and out.

This afternoon, I read through Stephen’s description of designing the course (the series starts here). It was fascinating at so many different levels. One the surface, this series looks like nothing more than a technical description of the tool he built for this cMOOC, gRSShopper. But it is really about what it means to design, implement, and evolve a (personal) learning environment. The tool is not just a tool. It is a vehicle for learning.

This is incredibly relevant to me. I have been spending the last few years investigating learning design, first as a K-12 educator (I was a secondary biology teacher in New York) and now as a teacher educator at Pace University. In this capacity, I am interested in the emergence of learning networks under conditions of autonomy and competence support (I am in the midst of writing a theoretical framework/blog post on this topic at the moment.

The point for the moment is that the tools of design and their implementation are the learning environment itself in a real way. I can only learn using the personal learning environment I have created. If I want to learn more, I need a modified/more robust/better(?) learning environment. Lots to think about now.

scholarship in public

Emerging Resonance?

This really thoughtful piece from Aeon is all about how we/our bodies respond to rhythms and other events without actually seeming to perceive them.

This passage really caught my attention:

But the experience of time involves more than just the perception of events occurring at a distance from us. We also experience time by instigating events through our actions, as well as encountering the actions of others. To relish the flow of a chat with a friend, or to feel the groove of a beat, is to have a distinctive kind of temporal experience where the observation of time becomes entwined with how one inhabits it – but in each case, the experience is less a matter of representing temporal structure than of entraining to it, resonating with it.

It makes me wonder how much of learning, in both formal and informal settings works like this. How do we respond to rhythms and patterns in the content and context about which we are not aware?And how much of  this potential “noise” really shapes what we learn and who we are?