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 )


#rhizo15 and Jürgen Habermas

pinksterblomMessy things in #rhizo15, and a text of Jürgen Habermas connect to some rhizomatic (?) “Mode of communication”.

Habermas: … With the performative attitude that we should take as we  want to discuss something , every speaker is (certainly not traditionally been utilized in an articulated manner) the possibility to use  the ‘I/me’ of the illocutionary act to use in such a way, to impose the understandable requirement that I/me as an individual, who is taking my own history/story of life irreplaceable as my own,  is being recognized as a person.
At the same time  alter as well as ego know, while consulting with each other on the universality of a propositional subject, that they are part of the very special context of their environment.

(my translation from p. 151 of a Dutch book with some texts and speeches of Habermas: Na-metafysisch denken (Jürgen Habermas) 1990.

It is the recognition as a person that is at the heart of (rhizomatic) teaching.

The academic way of conceptualization of data and of personal stories is in my view an almost metaphysical discourse. In these almost metaphysical discourses (in education) inter-subjectivity is  damaged.

The question is now: Is the academic discourse on education useful  in some way?  Should academic discourses on education and teaching as a rule take in account the inter-subjectivity and the importance of the informal and personal sphere?


Count learning, What counting? and Which learning? #rhizo15

rasaay 2012I am a bass clarinetist. Every day I do learn, train, try and rehearse. And when the band plays, or the clarinet quartet is playing people, listeners, colleagues, will listen and comment. This was beautiful. That was not correct. That needs improvement. This evaluation is not counting, but we need it for improvement. Counting is important in most music, not in all! However, counting errors and mistakes is not a pedagogical smart habit.

Is learning music same kind of learning as high school and university learning?

Playing in an ensemble is more complicated than playing solo. Playing together with other musicians is challenge. New skills must be learned. More social skills, more (self-) confidence,  more stress management. A lot more about these important extra and important learnings or lessons (countable words!) I found in Symbolic Measure of Lisa M Lane. (Via OU Digital Tools. Laura Gibbs)

Picture Raasay Bass Clarinet Course

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.

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)

The medium is the message?

ox_chinese_zodiac_symbol_posters-r89f3e2686c9840109b7b038cb360177b_0h3_8byvr_512Language needs a medium. The medium could be sound, paper, books, screen, phone. Medium has possibilities and impossibilities.
Telling stories has laws and rules. Listeners react on the story if you don’t keep to the rules. Writing has rules.

learning depends on language, the medium (books, blogs) of the language restricts or benefits the learning. The medium of telling has rules and laws, the art of story telling is to use these rules to make a good story. Books do have their rules and possibilities. Newspapers and blogging are media with possibilities and impossibilities.

students need to know these features of language, of writing telling and learning.
Teaching literacies should make students discover these features of the medium.
Language and culture of an author have to fit in the medium. In Dutch spoken and written language are almost the same. In some cultures in the English language this written and spoken language are different. Language peculiarities of a sub-culture could be a obstacle in understanding and learning.

Storytelling is a great. In my family we tell stories, and I never knew this is called oral tradition. Do you tell stories to your children? Stories about adventures of little people in the woods, or a bunch of sailors on a ship?

Critical factors for learning and teaching. Kritische factoren voor leren

zeilenIn  the wiki of footprints of emergence is a list of critical factors for learning and teaching. I want to translate these factors. Translating is a way of learning and understanding. Translations are only attempts to catch the meaning of the critical factors. I am not a translator but a student.

In de wiki van footprints of emergence staat een lijst met critische factoren voor leren. Ik wil die lijst vertalen. Vertalen is een manier om te leren en te begrijpen. Deze vertalingen is  een poging om de betekenis van de critische factoren te ontdekken. Ik ben geen vertaler maar student.

Open/structure – balans tussen structuur en structuurloosheid; chaos en orde; wanorde en regel

risk –  risico; gevaar; onzekerheid

liminal space –  overgangsgebied, grensgebied; doorgang; transitieruimte;

ambiguity – meerduidigheid, meerzinnigheid,

disruption –  verstoring,  ontregeling,

self-correction – zich bjjsturen; zelfcorrectie; zich herstellen, zich corrigeren;

multi-path – veelsporigheid, meersporigheid,

interactive environment – leeromgeving; 

diversity – verscheidenheid, diversiteit

experimential –  ervarend;

adaptive – aanpasbaar, soepel, adaptief

co-evolution – het meegroeien; ontwikkeling;

interaction and networking – excentrisch, naar buiten gericht, openheid, interactief en netwerkend,

trust – vertrouwen; samenwerking, steun

theory of mind – empathie,

agency – zelfstandigheid zelfsturing; zelfbepaling

cross and multi modal – multimediaal;  rijk

open affordances – open uitkomsten, meer mogelijkheden;

self-organization –  zelf-ontwikkeling; persoonlijke ontwikkeling

autonomy – zelfsturing; zelfstandigheid; eigen initiatief

negotiated outcomes – schuivende doelen;  bespreekbare uitkomsten; onderhandelbare doelen

identity – persoonlijke groei; identiteit;

presence / writing – groei; ontdekken; uitdrukken

solitude & contemplation – rust en bezinning

encounters – ontmoeting

networks – samenwerking; groepsvorming

hybrid modes of interaction – uitdrukkingsmogelijkheden;  expressie

in/formal writing and engagement –  informaliteit;

Footprint of Emergence

boom3Jenny Mackness and Roy Williams and and Simone Gumtau try to make a visual way of analyzing learning and teaching in courses. They call it Footprints of Emergence.

Jenny Mackness en Roy Williams en en Simone Gumtau proberen een visuele manier van analyseren van leren en lesgeven te maken: Footprints of Emergence.
Ze hanteren vier groepen factoren :

Openheid – structuur .
interactieve omgeving.
agency (autonomie, zelfbepaling).
Aanwezigheid / schrijven ( het leerproces en product , of de manier waarop het leren wordt gerealiseerd ).

They use four groups of factors:

  • Openness – structure.
  • Interactive environment.
  • Agency.
  • Presence / Writing ( the learning process and product, or the way the learning is realized).

In those 4 groups we find 20-25 factors describing different aspects of learning.

Some aspects:

  • Trust: The student engages competitive self-interest or in the course is a feeling of mutual respect and support.
  • Ambiguity: how tightly defined is the meaning and application of the learning?
  • Open Affordances: the student has space for exploration, the action is predeterminated or space for creative engagement.

In die 4 groepen vinden we 20-25 factoren van leren .

Enkele aspecten :

Vertrouwen : De student houdt zich bezig concurrerende eigenbelang of in de loop is een gevoel van wederzijds respect en steun .
Ambiguiteit : hoe strak gedefinieerd is de betekenis en toepassing van het leren ?
Open affordances : de student heeft ruimte voor exploratie, is het handelen voorgeschreven of is er ruimte voor creatieve inzet .

A course could be prescribed, emergent, or chaotic.
One student could judge a course chaotic, another student will judge it an emergent course. And the designer or teacher could judge it another way. Some subjectivity is build in this scoring.
On Lisa’s blog  is an example of this instrument. An article in IRRODL about emergent learning and footprints.

Een cursus kan zijn voorgestructureerd, emergent , of chaotisch .

Een student kan een cursus als chaotisch beoordelen , een ander ziet er meer een voorgestructureerde cursus in . En de ontwerper of docent kan  nog anders oordelen . Er zit subjectiviteit in deze manier van scoren .
Op Lisa’s blog is een voorbeeld van dit instrument . Een artikel in IRRODL over emergent leren en Footprints .

 If a teacher or designer wants an open course with a lot of possibilities for emergent learning, these factors could be a guide to develop an open course.  One has to find a balance between a very prescribed and a chaotic course to foster emergent learning. Of course student characteristics are important when we are designing a course.

Als een leraar of ontwerper  een open cursus met veel mogelijkheden voor emergent leren wil ontwerpen, kunnen deze factoren als gids dienen . Men moet een evenwicht vinden tussen een  voorgestructureerde en een chaotische cursus om emergent leren te bevorderen . Natuurlijk zijn kenmerken van  de student belangrijk bij het ontwerp van een cursus.

De inhoud van een cursus komt niet voor in de analysevragen. Voor cursusontwerp en  voor leren is inhoud niet zo belangrijk als het proces.

Content of a course is not mentioned in the analyzing questions. For course design and learning characteristics content is not as important as process and arrangement of teaching and learning procedures.

Discussie op 

Learning Walk

I did walk, with camera. (I often walk at lunchtime)
At first I did see a lot of things, people working, birds flying, but did not take pictures. I need some time to get started.
Than I took a picture of a butterfly hotel.

vlinder hotel
“Do butterflies use these hotels? ”
The first photo was the most difficult, because one has to make a decision to make a picture. You just have to start and look and ask questions and take pictures. Maybe you happen to know answers on my questions?

Than I did see again a birds feather. Took pictures of them.

“Why do all these feathers fall down? Why do birds loose them?

Came across a dump of old pipes and PVC, made a picture of that.

pvc pijpen
“What will they do with old PVC-pipes?”

Did some more pictures in this walk. But this is an example of my way of learning walking. I did slow down and did walk looking around and around. The learning walk makes me see more and think about what I see.

Leren kan je niet meten How to measure learning? #etmooc

evelienMijn kleinkind Evelien ( 2 maandenoud) heeft een nieuwe baby gym,  Ik haalde hem uit de verpakking zette het ding in de box en na drie seconden was ze er helemaal gek mee. Ze gaat er druk mee aan de gang. Slaan en vastpakken, het rinkelt en piept.
Heeft ze iets geleerd in die eerste paar minuten van de kennisnmaking?
Ja, ze heeft geleerd, maar wat? en Hoeveel?
Leren is geen deterministische activiteit, [Cormier]  het is geen oorzaak en gevolg proces. Wat Evelien geleerd heeft kan heel iets anders zijn dan wat die andere baby leert van haar baby gym.
Je kunt van Evelien niet zeggen hoeveel ze heeft geleerd. Je kunt achteraf (na jaren misschien) wel met haar praten over haar leren.
Maar de vraag is, weet je altijd precies wat en hoeveel je geleerd hebt? Kun je dat weten?

My (2 months old) grandchild Evelien has a new baby gym, I gave her the thing, and after three seconds she was totally crazy with it. Hitting and grabbing the rings and beeps. Has she learned anything in those first few minutes? Yes, she has learned things, but what? and How? Learning is not a deterministic activity [Cormier] it is not a cause and effect process. What Evelien has learned, can be very different from what the other baby learns with the same baby gym. You can not tell how much they have learned. You could talk to her about her learning when is has learned to talk. But the question is, can you know exactly what and how much you have learned? Can you tell?