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 )


The daily stillness.

stillevenThe daily stillness is a website with daily small exercises to help you find stillness. You do subscribe to a newsletter and receive a mail a day with a beautiful exercise.
In the About page “… If we were forced to say it is about only one thing, then we would say it is attention training. …”

De daily stilnness is een website met elke dag een andere kleine oefening die je helpt stilte te vinden. Je kan je abonneren op een dagelijkse nieuwsbrief, om dagelijks een mooie oefening te ontvangen. Volgens de About-pagina : “… Eigenlijk is het een oefening in aandacht. …”

The Exercises are great for normal people. Artists and creative people will find a great source of inspiration and creative exercises to enhance creativity and focus. Teachers and trainers and coaches will find great exercises for themselves and for their students.

De oefeningen zijn heel bruikbaar voor iedereen. En kunstenaars en kreatievelingen vinden er een bron van inspiratie en oefeningen om je kreativiteit aan te wakkeren en oefeningen om je aandacht te richten. Leraren en trainers en coaches vinden er geweldige oefeningen voor zichzelf en voor hun publiek.

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.

Cyborgs in the classroom?

Our #ds106 friend Anna Cow did write a story about cyborgs.
She wrote:
I fear to be a cyborg. What If some nasty BigFarma or BigData or some CompuNerds made a cyborg of me? No aliens but nasty big firms trying to do something very evil? ? Think of the BigNerds trying to do nasty tests on cows and humans.

Jason Silva on a youtube video is rather optimistic and jubilant about being a cyborg.
Could a cyborg be used as a soldier, or do more evil deeds because of this extra equipment?
In this world and in the future of the cyborg world would values and ethics be important in education and the curriculum, in teaching? Because of the power of cyborg possibilities?

Does the techno-realistic perspective give a better view on dangers and possibilities of technology?

#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// for posting blogposts on twitter. If This Than That. #IFTTT

Relationship and communication, trust, courtesy, connectivity,

vierseitenmodellOne of the four sides of the square does mention Relationship. Trust in the online environment is a complex issue. It should not be taken lightly.
The text about the stag as mentioned in Jenny’s blog is found in
About courtesy in online communication, cultural differences do cause misunderstanding and uneasiness. Like the preferred distance between two talking humans is different in different subcultures and cultures. There is no universal agreement about Norms in online communication.
Some humans are online and they want to talk about facts and opinions without care about relations. Factual information is the only thing that matters to these humans.

Online community has to be more than shouting out facts or opinions to the internet.

I did add the category “connectedcourses” to this post, to be able to share the blog to that course. It is not written for that course, but connected to its theme.

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

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.

After the camp fire #rhizo14

kampvuura. Comment on your reasons for joining #rhizo14, your level of participation and your experiences of the “course”.
Wanted to know more about rhizome in pedagogics. Fascinating subject, lots of people are looking for better education.
Reconnect to mooc people of other moocs.
Stay in tune with new types of mooc.
Wanted to know more about rhizomatic learning.
Continuing the course also because of social structure and processes in the group. Could one say: When content is more unsure and fuzzy, than social processes tend to become more intense?
I could not tell what is rhizomatic learning in one sentence. If you need more than one sentence to tell someone what you are talking about than some more thinking is needed.

b. Comment on your experiences of inclusion/exclusion in this community
Start was very inclusive.
Did meet some very nice people, enjoyed doing the course.
Tried to discuss critically this rhizomatic learning thing, I guess cultural and language difficulties did not help here. Got not too much critical answers.
Too much inclusion does not foster debate. I prefer some more resistance and discussion. The social processes in the groups (lots of likes and love and friendliness) prevented a more critical attitude in general? Or  is this a cultural divide?

About rhizomatic learning: The idea of Rhiz Learning  seems to be an attempt to change school pedagogics. Outside school and outside formal courses learning most of time is not well defined and not embedded in authoritarian structures. That informal could be called rhizomatic learning. But I still doubt if the word rhizomatic does add anything to the definition of (non-school or formal) learning. (Ockhams razor comes in mind, Entia non sunt praeter necessitatem multiplicanda)

My question ” Is auto etnography scientificly sound? Self report in psychology is low level research, how about etnography? ” is a methodological question.