Digital citizen

My question on citizenship. Is a human = a citizen?

Is een mens een burger en niet meer dan een burger?

Stephen Downes: My citizenship begins with, and is defined only by, my actions.

Question: is the city only a group of humans called citizens or is a citizen defined as a subject, a person under the power of the city? Or is a citizen a free person.
Is citizenship a democratic phenomenon? In history it was, but in the words I feel a kind of collectivism. Maybe my feeling is not right?

Vraag, is een stad een groep mensen die burger genoemd worden, of is een burger een onderdaan? Of een vrije persoon?
Is digitaal burgerschap een demokratisch fenomeen? Vroeger was een burger van een stad een vrije. Maar in digital citizen of burger proef ik iets kollektiefs, minder vrij.

I don’t understand why they are using the term “citizen” at all – it’s really not clear to me that my relationship with the various places online that I visit or inhabit is that of a citizen at all., Nomadwarmachine.

So you are connected, to what?


If you are behind your computer screen or using your phone what are you connected with?

I think of those abstracted sedentary individuals who spend their lives in an office rattling their fingers on a keyboard ‘connected’, as they say, but to what?  To information mutating between one second and the next, floods of images, pictures and graphs. And after work it is the subway, the train, always speed, the gaze now glued to telephone screen…  (In a philosophy of walking Frédéric Gros (p. 185) )

In the evening they will look at the television screen. Those people are not connected to the earth or to roads and routes. They forget about being human.

Just walking, just talking to a person next to you, that is the real connectedness.


Connecting and Stillweb

contemplationAbout connectivity and disconnecting.

Reading Question about borders on connectivity. @dustcube wrote about a border being  ‘solitude and contemplation’ – which is inevitably private, and ‘off-grid’ – and it has been a key factor for most people who describe their experience of learning.

The comment of @dustcube made me think of the need of silence and solitude in humans. Some very connected students with a lot of friends do at times want to be left alone. Jenny Mackness has a story about the need for silence … but the cacophony of voices and relentless activity silenced me. I simply could not find my voice.
That connected to Stillweb, It is a bit of a paradox to be online to find stillness. It is an illustration of the need for private contemplation and rest.

On Stillweb I found Silence and disconnected places do foster learning and thinking.

flickr photo by Doc List Photography shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license
(attribution with the )


Connecting and disconnecting #rhizo15


How we do look at the facts.
Fase 0: We nemen de wereld waar op onze eigen wijze. Hier kan je allerlei vragen stellen over objectiviteit en subjectiviteit, over waarnemen, over taal en waarnemen.
In phase 0 we look at a world around us. What do we see? Here are questions about subjectivity and objectivity, distortions, language and perception.
Fase 1: We nemen allerlei gebeurtenissen en verschijnselen waar. Ze zijn met elkaar verbonden en met de omgeving. We onderscheiden en benoemen. Het is niet eenvoudig alle verschijnselen
waar te nemen. Daarom gaan we over naar fase 2.
Phase 1: We perceive all kinds of events and phenomena. They are interconnected and connected to the context. We distinguish and name. It is not easy to observe all phenomena. We therefore move on to Phase 2.
Fase 2:We richten ons op een enkel verschijnsel. Hierdoor verliest het de samenhang met de ongeving. We isoleren de gebeurtenis of het verschijnsel. Zo kunnen we onze aandacht beter richten.
Phase 2:
We focus on a single phenomenon. Which affects the connections with the surrounding phenomena We isolate the event or phenomenon. Because we are able to focus our attention in that way.
Fase 3: Soms gaan we onderzoeken hoe enkele geisoleerde zaken samenhangen.
Phase 3: Now we could research the connection between some phenomena we first isolated.

Thinking and Language as social and connected events

babyThinking is a social event: No thinking without words, no words without language, no language without humans around us. This is a very short answer to my reading of Putnam. He uses the Brains in a Vat story to defend his statements about meaning outside the head. Putnam and others try to find the connection of words and meaning of the words. Is meaning in your head or outside?
The short answer of Putnam, Meaning is experimental and outside), it is not in your head.
I want to argue that meaning has a strong social aspect. Listen to and watch young children, they learn by asking “Why??” they want to see and hear and use things to learn. Children want to see what is inside things to get to know them.
Think of the way little children learn words and meaning. They experience the world and try to add words to their experiences. They do need time and practical experiences for learning to use the right words.
Their thinking grows with the acquisition of language and experience in a social context.

#rhizo15 technophobia technophilia and technorealism

wegwijzerMaybe this is a fork for #rhizo15?
Keep it in mind.

Jason Silva on a youtube video where he pulls from Nietzsche, Andy Clark, Kevin Kelly and others (thanks @Autumm Caines). It is  an advertisement for the idea of humans already being cyborgs. If he means humans do use tools and technology he is right. Jason Silva is a technophile.

Maybe the big question is What are we going to do with our technology?

And we do not want to be blind to the side effects of technology. Silent Spring, mass surveillance on internet. Ask the technophobians for more bad results of technology.

and for the technorealists see

Aspects of communication and connections

vierseitenmodellPaul Watzlawick wrote that every communication has a content and a relationship aspect. He used the work of Gregory Bateson, much of which is collected in Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972).
Karl Bühler mentions three communicative functions. (Bühler, Karl (1934). Sprachtheorie. Oxford, England: Fischer.)
The four-sides model (also known as communication square or four-ears model) is a communication model by Friedemann Schulz von Thun. According to this model every message has four facets.
In my opinion this four-ears model could be compared to a node in a connectionist learning model. (This is a question)

We will have to discuss this image and its relation to connectivist nodes and to teaching online courses.
The image in the previous post could be some help?


The art of online teaching and communication

artteachinglive1I like to tie together teaching and art. I like to speak of The art of teaching because an art has no absolute rules. Art is always changing.
To think about the language in online teaching we must remember teaching is an art.
No rules for the right use of language in teaching, because:
Students are from different cultures and teachers are from different cultural origins. Language style and language register are different between students and between teachers.
So no universal rules for language and communication in online courses.

Humor, jokes and the unexpected could help to make a course attractive. Layout and pictures, sounds could help too.

You need to know your audience.
Ask for feedback.
Do reflect on your teaching.

And remember, the contact is the connection from student to the course and from teacher to the course (and to each other). For contact and connection in a course two parties are required.

image: Marcia Beckett

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?

What is Learning / Wat is leren?


I want to know what rhizomatic learning is.

We could start thinking about a definition and  explanations of learning.

Start at Wikipedia (often a good start for a search, as it gives links for sources):
Mmm, I do not know, Wikipedia? That is not very scientific, well for a start we could look at it. i guess that will not do harm.
What does Wikipedia tell you about learning?

It is here: Learning is acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing, existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information. The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals and some machines….[Daniel L. Schacter, Daniel T. Gilbert, Daniel M. Wegner (2009, 2011). Psychology, 2nd edition. Worth Publishers. p. 264. ISBN 978-1-4292-3719-2, via wikipedia]

What is this synthesizing different types of information? Is it learning? I would agree on the word ,knowledge, but not on ,information,!  What is the difference between knowledge and information?

Well this is only a start,

Learning is not only for little children. Most teachers seem to connect learning with children. But we humans do learn always. I doubt if it possible not to learn.
It (Rhizomatic Learning) freely admits the beautiful complexity of the human experience, and thus, by proximity, the sheer craziness of the learning process. This idea, not so much a learning theory as it is a clever and accurate metaphor, describes learning as having no beginning nor an end.
School is not the only place to learn. Think of all knowledge skills; behaviors; believes you learn after you left school. Humans do learn everywhere.

My conclusion of a quick search for an answer “what is learning” (and what I think I do know about learning): Question unsolved. We do know learning, and we cannot tell what it is. Would that mean learning is a rhizomatic concept?

Image: Most images about learning have arrows. A search for an image to explain and illustrate learning is disappointing. The image in this blogpost maybe it is nothing to do with learning. I made it.