The use of language in online teaching

lichaamstaalIn therapy language is very important. .
BANDLER, RICHARD & GRINDER, JOHN; SATIR, VIRGINIA & BATESON, GREGORY etc.  The Structure Of Magic I: A Book About Language And Therapy..Is an example of this connection.

In my opinion language in online courses needs a lot of thinking.

In online teaching many aspects of communication are lost. Most non-verbal communication is not possible. Even a teacher talking on video is not a quality replacement for F2F communication.
The teacher cannot watch the students, cannot see body language of students. Students cannot see each other and no teacher.

In my opinion this lack of important aspects of communication has to be taken care of. Online teaching needs careful communication.
We have to think and experiment about our language in online teaching. How could we use language to improve connections in online teaching?

Do we need to use words like: we, I or you, when we write texts for online courses?
Do we use passive or active verbal form or passive voice?

Pluralism Monism

scientificpluralismTzvetan Todorov  writes that the  most important democratic value is pluralism. Monistic societies and governments as are communism and national socialism are not democratic.  In education we should give pluralism an important place.

Maha Bali   begins her blogpost with the students need for different ways of teaching, for variety in structure of courses, and adapting to students preferences and needs.
But she the most valuable text of Maha is about cultural pluralism and respect. In Maha Bali’s blog about education she says:  But it’s in allowing the diverse voices within us to have a space (even if it’s an English-speaking space because it’s the only language we have in common) and voice, that alone helps to enrich the online space with the diversity that’s in it. Pluralism is a ways to foster learning and creativity and innovation.

Pluralism in education is a movement  that does not ask for teaching to the test and standard testing. It is about learning to live with differences in methods of teaching, about democracy and about pluralism as a key to research and learning.
Proposed Changes in Education (this is in a wiki about citizenship & diversity)

  • from formal to informal
  • from exclusive to inclusive
  • from restrictive to experiential
  • from instructionist to constructivist
  • promotion of knowledge building, lifelong learning
  • promotion of inter-generational knowledge exchange

I am not writing about religious pluralism. In the USA pluralism also is used to talk about racial matters. Both are important issues.

The end of the rhizome?

rhizome#rhizo14 has a narrow view on learning: Learning by students in school.
Learning is a human quality, and school is by far not the only place where humans do learn. In one of the first weeks the incident in Facebook about academics  was prophetic as in many blogs and facebook messages now the subject is academic.

To describe learning we do not need the Rhizome-word. Humans do learn, humans are always learning. Learning may occur consciously or without conscious awareness. One learns all kinds of things, easy, spontaneous. Where to find the coffee in the supermarket. How to find your way in your neighborhood. Humming that song. The name of your favorite people.  Humans learn, without end. This natural free style learning is connected, effortless, not determined, not voluntary,  endless.
Does the R-word add something to our understanding of learning? Or is the R-word an obstacle? Maybe the R-word was a pedagogical affordance to make teachers think about learning?

Learning is difficult, a tough job, when one wants to learn a subject or a skill , purposeful,  goal-oriented. To learn at will, we need discipline and care. We need a curriculum for this  learning, a plan and a teacher could help. Because you could learn the wrong basic skills or knowledge and never succeed. A liminal space – an in-between-space – between mastery and troublesome knowledge. This is a space of potential risk. Jenny Mackness writes in length about this risk. This risk of learning wrong is not the risk to fail. Maybe, risk is what living is about?

Is it possible to learn to be an academic without this school-learning? We banter about the term “lifelong learners” in education quite a bit. It’s a hopeful sentiment — that the learning opportunities in our space will not just spill over in the lives of our students (I teach 11 year olds) but will provide the structure for self-centered learning in unknown situations at any given time in the future (Dogtrax on P2P)

Could R-learning make a student an academic? No, because an academic is a person who learns goal directed. That is what an academic is. Is wandering around and free-learning needed for an academic? The academic does work in an academic discipline as it is sometimes called. If we do not work to form connection we may follow the wrong god home. (Danielle Paradis)  Free wandering learning could be useful even for an academic.

I do enjoy #rhizo14  because of the conversation and to meet you online.

Guerilla in #rhizo14


Rereading an old book of Umberto Eco I find an essay ‘Voor een semiotische guerrilla’ (To a semiotic guerrilla).
In this essay Umberto Eco writes about mass media and decoding.

Eco gives a short semiotic lecture about messages: The source of a message uses a code to assemble a message.
The message is transported via a channel. The reader uses code to translate, decode or read the message. (Some do not use the channel bur they use “medium”. I prefer channel)

Umberto Eco stresses the importance of decoding or reading the message with a code that is chosen by the reader. The reader should not uncritically use the code of the source.

The guerrilla is the struggle to make this critical decoding happen when someone is reading mass communication messages, newspaper or television.
In my opinion this ‘guerrilla’ should be used in education. An educational guerrilla to make the student-reader use his own codes to read mass media, books, blogs or whatever. This decoding by the student is linked to the student as producer.

Essay is in Dutch, translation in “de alledaagse onwerkelijkheid”, 1985, uitg. Bert Bakker, Amsterdam, no mention of title of source for translation. Essay was a contribution to the Congres ‘Vision ’67’ in New York oktober 1967, of Internat. Center for Communications. Art and Sciences.



‘Methinks there is equal need of a Society for the Diffusion of Useful Ignorance, what we will call Beautiful Knowledge,’ (Thoreau, Walking)

Church nor government were the first to open Public libraries in my country. Why? How is that in your country?
In Wikipedia I found a list of book burning history. People are afraid of books. Governments, churches did burn books. Wars are dangerous for books. Why do governments and religious persons burn books?
Governments and churches made list of forbidden books, because of reading those books would make one stupid?
My mother told me reading too much is bad for eyes and brains, they wear off. She did not believe reading would make me stupid.

Some students do believe anything that has been said in the news on the television. Some do believe their teacher, some believe books. Good teachers help these students to unbelieve television or books and teachers to challenge authority structures.

I did have some ideas on the slogan “the community is the curriculum”. How about you? Is this community really the curriculum? I have a feeling the curriculum is made by one or some of the community. (are we  a community or  a crowd?)

Course on crap detection Howard Rheingold crap detection 101 with some links to other crap detection.
Baloney detection kit (Sagan)


babyvraagMediawijsheid houdt in

  • Dat we in staat zijn om oude media (televisie, radio, pers) en nieuwe media (internettoepassingen, sms) te gebruiken.
  • Dat we een gezonde mentaliteit ten opzichte van deze media hebben.
  • Dat we ons bewust zijn van de mogelijkheden van de media en de context van informatie.

Je kunt  onderscheid maken tussen

  • Dagelijkse mediawijsheid (de competenties en houding die nodig zijn voor een alledaags, informeel en creatief mediagebruik)
  • en reflectieve mediawijsheid (een bewuste en kritische houding ten opzichte van de media).
  • Produktieve mediawijsheid   paralel aan praten, uitvoeren,
  • Consumptieve mediawijsheid  paralel aan luisteren,  interpreteren.

(bron: Wikipedia)

Ik voeg toe: informatievaardigheid;  technisch inzicht;  communicatieve vaardigheden; taalvaardigheden; digital literacy;

Ik vraag me af wat een ” gezonde mentaliteit t,o,v. deze media ”  allemaal inhoudt.
Een kritische houding tav inhoud en vorm??

– Mediavaardigheden
Veilig mediagebruik


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Media education, digital literacy, media literacy

media education

media education

Being media literate requires a person to have a sound knowledge of the different media,
including knowledge of technical basics and aesthetic forms, of the conditions and forms of media
production and distribution in society, and an awareness for the cultural and communicative,
economical, and political importance that these media have in globalised societies. Media literacy
is a capacity for sensible, considered, and responsible media use. This includes the ability to
make considered choices, to understand and interpret media codes, and to make careful use of
media during our leisure time, at school and in our professions. Active and creative design using
the media for self expression, for articulating subjects which interest us, for contact and
communication is another core area of media literacy. Finally, media education promotes media
criticism, which refers both to media development in society, as well as to our own (self-reflective)
media use and media creations.
(source: )