Letter to a new student in #rhizo15 or the next course

Confucius_Tang_Dynasty不要緊,你怎麼去慢慢地,只要你不停止。 (It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.Confucius)


Remember, the only student at Unseen University anybody remembers and likes is Rincewind. And you know what? He failed his exams. Rincewind is a wizard with no skill, no wizardly qualifications.

What do you think of that?


Dear student,

Now is the big moment.
As a new open learning or Mooc student you will need these:

Gumption & perseverance

Because the start will be disappointing and the fellow students will not seem very helpful (you need to know and consider they are also new to the course). You need passion and commitment. Remember in dark and depressing moments why the course is funny and why you want to learn. Write a blogpost about your passion and commitment and gumption and perseverance to remember in hard times.

Surprise us with your skills and knowledge, your jokes and music and poems.
Knowledge and skills of social media. The internet is loaded with courses and help pages about almost anything. You could help fellow students improve their skills.
Know the facts. write down the course URLs and hashtags, know the places and times. Put the facts in a blogpost to remember them.
Asking Questions. Ask questions. If you do not ask questions you will fail.
Be your own master and teacher. Open learning is for grown-ups, for independent humans. If you are in doubt, start and try, this will be a new learning theme for you in this course. Write and publish something about that.
Connect to fellow students, retweet; use hashtags; answer tweets even from students you do not know. You know that a comment on your blog or an answer on twitter or facebook  is a pleasure and a reward, be generous with comments and answers. You are not alone and you do really need these fellow students. And do connect to people outside the course, make them join. Discuss the course with people around you.
Publish. Blog and reblog, write comment on blogs. Leave your web address on blogs. Publish your blogpost on twitter or facebook or any other platform. Because learning is connecting.


Order in the classroom, moral questions in #rhizo15

orderThis is not just a picture of a group of students. This is a group of students in order of best performer next to second best performer. The best performer is on the left, the “drop-out” is on the right.
Grades (A, B etc.  and ciphers (67 out of 100  or 6.7 out of 10)  are the expression of the order in a group of students.

Is this counting for the benefit of our students? Is the value of the work of teachers and students  in the fun, the use of it for the student? Or is that value is counted in numerical output. Joris Luyendijk http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/joris-luyendijk-banking-blog “Common people, in schools, hospitals, tell me the morals of these bankers are also predominant in our institution”.

What use is it if a students knows she is the 45th best student of her year? What does that mean for her life?

About what schools are for? A safe income for teachers? A source of money or influence for the institution and the Board of Regents? What is the most important goal of a university or school? Is it to build a strong labor force? a strong nation? a healthy and prosperous people?

What if schools did try to discover possibilities and potency in students? (count your blessings?)

What if schools tried to develop these possibilities in stead of working with curricula and standard tests?

What if more teachers did not join the rat-race for more money and more whatshallwecallit? But as the process went on, the more I saw the negatives of giving up my freedom, the ability to work at home (or coffee shops or wherever) while wearing jeans and t-shirt, the flexibility of not having to be in an office 40 hours a week, my summers. I started to realize I was going to end up doing a whole lot less scholarship and probably no teaching and instead I was going to go to a lot of meetings.

#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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUzFtWNOOOU (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 http://www.technorealism.org/

#Rhizo15 begint hier. #rhizo starting here

brug bridge#Rhizo15 is ready for take off, and I want to be a little part of it.
The big question for me this time is about culture, about humanity, about learning to be a human. I am not sure which word the english language uses for this subject. Parenting seems to be the closest.

Parenting (or child rearing) is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting refers to the aspects of raising a child aside from the biological relationship.

Teachers are not parents. But humans do change when interacting with humans, What is rhizomatic learning doing to its students?  I am not so much interested in  knowledge or the kind of skills we teach as we write down in the curriculum. But the extra skills and attitudes we help each other to develop.

I do use https//ifttt.com for posting blogposts on twitter. If This Than That. #IFTTT



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?

image https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-sides_model

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.

Yellow circles and art


33. A thing contains infinitely more information than its image.
yellow dot
Deze gele stip is aanduiding van een wandelroute in Denemarken.
Misschien noem je dit kunst?
Welke argumenten zou je aanvoeren om te onderbouwen dat je dit kunst noemt?

This yellow point is a mark for hiking in Danemark
Een gele stip is geen kunst? Of wel?
A yellow circle is not Art, or is it?

laszlo-moholy-nagy, yellow circle


These blogposts are about art. Alan Levine shouts “make art damnit” http://cogdogblog.com/2012/02/17/make-art-damnit/ but what does he want? I want to make art that is why I want to know what is art.

Deze blog posts gaan over kunst. Alan Levine blaft “make art damnit” Maar wat bedoelt hij daarmee? Ik wil kunst maken, daarom wil ik weten wat kunst is.