Your brain needs rest


Your brain needs to rest. Just be lazy for some time and do nothing.
Your brain is constantly connected to the web, your phone always wants attention, the traffic is getting on your nerves, the noises around you, your thoughts keep your brain busy.
Do prevent stress related brain symptoms and give your brains some rest. Do not check your phone while waiting but just be bored for some minutes. Just look out of the window, watch the sky.
Sleeplessness and burn out are stress related symptoms and prevention is much more easy and less time consuming and more fun than therapy.
There are several ways of coping with stress, such as controlling the source of stress or learning to set limits and to say “no” to some of the demands that devices, social media, bosses or people around you may make.
You will like stillweb and the twitteraccount The Daily Stillness with a little touch of rest or silence every day.
Sustained stress, over long periods of time, and destroys creativity and, as a friend of mine says, “the human soul.”

Stillness and self



The theory of narrative identity postulates that individuals form an identity by integrating their life experiences into an internalized, evolving story of the self, which provides the individual with a sense of unity and purpose in life.(McAdams, D (2001). “The psychology of life stories”. Review of General Psychology 5 (2): 100–122. doi:10.1037/1089-2680.5.2.100.).


Thinking about the concept of “self” could make one very confused. Because who is thinking about this self? When I am thinking about my self, who is thinking?

Be aware of the metaphysical concept of the self. It does not exist in the physical world. The self is a concept, it is part of a story about humans.

Self as context is another way to talk about self. It is not about identity, but about observation and experiencing.



and the shift to this perspective of experiental self needs attention.

Feedback for improvement. About feedback or critique on art.

water lily

About feedback or critique on art.
The artists of the DS106 dailycreate do add comments (on Flickr) to art of fellow dailycreate’ers. Some of the comments are:

  • “nicely done”
  • “very nice comp and detail.”
  • “I love it”

This kind of comment is nice, but something more constructive is missing.
The DS106 Shrink wrote about feedback on art work. She starts a project for better feedback on DS106 dailycreate and other art.
Rules for constructive way of feedback or comments: feedback [pdf]:

  • 1. If you can’t think of a constructive purpose for giving feedback, don’t give it at all.
  • 2. Focus on description rather than judgement.
  • 3. Focus on observation rather than inference.

You are not a teacher, nor the angry art critique from a magazine, so be kind. Negative comments are for trolls. “I love it”, or “interesting” is kind, but not constructive.
The constructive power of just writing down what you see is great. Description may seem foolish, but it is a powerful tool to improve your skills.  And the artist involved will be grateful, because you gave time and attention to the work and you did respect the work as it is.

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?

Curriculum and 5 assignments on #rhizo14

Waterdragers-Ganges-470x306After some weeks in rhizome14 the focus is shifting to the navel of the community. The community as a safe haven in the universe of internet and education. JannymacknessAnn Gagne: ” Is There a Curriculum in this Community?” is a clear question to rhizo14.  NOTE: @jennymacknesst it’s Ann Gagne’s blog post + question you linked to – not mine :-)

My personal rhizome is greater than rhizo14.  ds106 and it is Potcert of Lisa M Lane are part of it. And my rhizome is the people I work with, the village i live in. It is the library, and whatever is in my life. It is the musicians I play with. Life as a curriculum and a rhizome.
The learning nomad is on the road and meets people, inspiration, views, and new insights. The knowmad comes in villages and cities of different knowledge and hears prophets and voices of wisdom, meets kind people.  (assignment_1: what are the most important parts of your rhizome?)

The personal curriculum of a participant (has this words roots in curry??) is more than the curriculum of #rhizo14
The people of #rhizo14 are part of a greater communities. (asssignment_2: why do the #rhizo14  people think of their group as a community, why do not they think of it as a rhizome?)

The image of the nomad. I keep thinking of scenes from the book Kim of Rudyard Kipling. A crowded road with all kinds of interesting people. The book Kim is a very rhizomatic novel. (assignment: write an essay on the book Kim a a rhizomatic novel)

Is there a curriculum in this community?
If we read for curriculum: an invitation to learn, a possibility to learn. (assignment_3: what are differences between a rhizomatic curriculum?  )
Than #rhizo14 is part of a curriculum.
Is sharing information = learning? It is a lower form of learning, information needs to make sense and must be translated to knowledge. Literacy and skills are part of learning. And questions such as about the sene of  #rhizo14  are part of a learning process. (assignment_4: what are your  opinions on the possibility of a curriculum in rhizomatic learning?)

I did learn (again) that kind words of passers-by are a bless to a nomad on the road of learning. Thank you for that. (assignment_5: be kind to passers-by)

Culture and language


Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory has in my opinion a connection with language. (answer for @Chris2B in comment on previous post.)

  • Power distance. In the Netherlands teacher and student are not in different worlds. If the teacher is wrong, students will tell him. Language differences as a sign of class differences do not fit into low power distance culture. Spoken language and written language are not very divergent. Dutch students do not need to learn ‘upper-class academic’ language to write an essay.
  • Individualism. Being different is not a (big) problem. Teacher could admit not to know an answer. Dutch students are not afraid to try to speak foreign languages. They are not afraid of mistakes. (I am an example of that)
  • Masculinity/femininity. Feminity  is  about care and not about masculine competition according to Hofstede. Trying to be the best is not a common trait in Dutch students.

In culture with low power distance and high individualism rules do change almost at will.
Members of different cultures have divergent views on Incidents and differences of opinion in a community.
Rules on how to write an essay are very important and common in USA (and other countries). In the Netherlands content and process are more important than format and style.
Should a blogger need to know more about Cultural Competences or CQ?

Heterogeinity in a mooc.

rubensPeople from 22 countries from visited my blog on #rhizo14 the last 7 days. We are a very heterogeneous crowd living in Asia, Africa, Australia, the Americas, Europe.
Some of us are young students in universities, some are teachers in their 30 40 and all ages, some are retired, of different ages. Different backgrounds different fields of study different jobs.
I am sure people do misunderstand texts because of heterogeneity. Most of us try to understand other people.
But cultural differences are present.
How to avoid damage by cultural misunderstanding? The study of intercultural communication is difficult. So many different cultures.
Differences in goals and differences in social media communication skills add to possible misunderstanding.

One way of handling these problems and misunderstandings is ignore them and ignore the person who is the source of trouble.
Another way, I think a better way sometimes, is to try to understand and use cultural skills to explore new ways and new cultures.

I think it a big pleasure to watch and be present in this multicultural group of people. (if i were of a US background I would probably say ” am exited to be with you”)

(Rubens (?) made the picture)

Independence and scaffolding to autonomy. #rhizo14

Image copied from  Giulia Forsythe’s visual notes from Cormiers talk at connect 2013.
Read: Dave Cormier blogpost on self-assessment-and-self-remediation.

Central theme is the independence of the learner. The learner  is responsible for learning and is free and autonomous.  How to solve this paradox? Who is responsible in a teaching situation?

Scaffolding towards independence: Ask the learner to write a paper on ‘My road to independency’.  Could You write a paper, map “my road to independency”?

Learning with help of peers and teachers could lead to independency. How to help teachers and peers to not steer toward dependency?

Teacher is not the authority but a kind of a nurse. A good nurse wants you to leave the hospital as soon as possible because the hospital will hospitalize you and make you dependent on help. Did you manage to prevent your students from helplessness and hospitalization and dependency?






Identity and #change11

What is the difference between identity, ID, self, ego, me, personality? Do these words connect to the same  ‘thing’?

Does identity change when you change role? A role or a social role (also spelt rôle) as a set of connected behaviors, rights and obligations as conceptualized by actors in a social situation.

Identity is an item in psycho-therapy,  fear of loss of identity or fear of disapproval are strong forces in a human mind. Identity is dependence because the other people must recognize and acknowledge my identity.

Identity as a network. No identity without other people, and things. Part of your identity is made by the connections in your network. Your identity is your parents, your friends, your place of birth your university, your colleagues. And the phone you use, the car, the house, your dog, your clothes.

Identity is difference, how to be different in this world with so many people? Leaving marks on the network, connecting in a personal style. The rhizome of your connections is part of your identity. Identity as a way of living, a style of life, a typical way of expressing. Branding is a special way of being different. Are social status and identity  connected?  Identity is a  process of a growing rhizome, in a complex rhizome you could find your singular identity. The more complex the more  a  different identity.

Leaving marks is part of the making of an identity. (footprint, fingerprint, printed papers)  These marks are printed on a substrate. In what way is the substrate part of your identity? What blogs are you commenting, what does your Facebook look like? Reading footprints is subjective,  as Pooh and Piglet show when they are walking in the snow. So who am I? You could  read a part of my  online identity on the marks I left on the internet.

In what way does a text help to make an identity? In what way is your work/text hiding your identity?

Your identity is part of your personality. Is Identity a rhizome of different selfs?  Languge selfs, branded,  cultural selfs? Identity is it your public self?  Is my private secret unconscious self part of my identity?  Culturally, these practices by which we make our digital identities have become part of our embodied lives and of an enmeshed concept of ourselves.

Your identity is like a road or a direction you did choose. Now when you do go that direction you will have to act according to your identity. Identity causes expectations. Is it possible to compose your identity as a work of art, or do other people compose their version of your identity and with that your identity is a social construct?  

Sun flowers, a story #change11

 ‘Esse est percipi’ (Berkeley, Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, 1790, : § 3) ‘to be is to be perceived’. We do make sense of the world that we perceive (connect to).

Van Gogh painted sun flowers. He changed our connections 1 with sun flowers. After van Gogh sun flowers are not the same.
Sumire Nukina wrote a composition ‘Zonnebloem 1’ (Sun flower 1) for bass clarinet.  And I cannot but connect this to Van Gogh because my teacher did ask “Would a connection exist between van Gogh and this music?”
When I play this piece of music these connections and a load of other connections 2 do influence the sound. Playing this music changes my perception of sun flowers because of the story 3  which is in the connections.

Sumire Nukina did make her music on a (not named) painting of Mondrian of sun flowers.
or this one
Mondrian painted the sun flowers in 1907 1908. He knew van Gogh.

Connectivism is not only about knowledge. Knowledge (information) is always connected to stories with feelings, value, sense making. Do you think knowledge exists without a ‘knower’? Berkeley meant this connectedness of knowledge and ‘knower’ when he said ‘Esse est percipi’. (van Peursen, Verhaal en werkelijkheid : een deiktische ontologie, 1992) 4

The story is a way of sense making, and of connecting knowledge and meaning and sense and emotions and value. An example: Critical Thinking (CT) is on almost all curricula as an unconnected, stand-alone subject. CT without a story is sophism and empty smartness. CT has to be connected to a story to make sense of it and to use it in a sensible way. 5
He, Clive Thompson, in a November 2011 Wired article, goes on to say that internet search engines present a “golden opportunity to train kids in critical thinking.” In order to sort through hundreds of search results, students must evaluate information, consider credibility, and ask crucial questions about context and meaning. According to Thompson, these kinds of critical thinking skills are being ignored in favor of preparation for standardized tests. Andrew Neuendorf

1) meaning, sense, knowledge, attraction.
2) The network ‘Sun Flowers’ is much greater than the things I did mention here: Eating sun flower seeds in a Chinese tea garden, Fields with sun flowers in France, sun flower oil, sun flowers growing in the garden and dead sun flowers in autumn.
3) story = a metaphor to indicate a network of meaning, sense, opinion, facts, value, words, images, attraction, etc.
4) tr. Story and Reality. A Deictic Ontology
5) Facebook: Scott Johnson, Can’t resist posting this site: Full of insights into being so critical as to be blind to understanding the depth of human experience. Check out the discussion section at the end too.
Image van Gogh: