Today was very different. The storm is over, or we have started dancing in it? Yesterday we confronted the unknown. What we wanted was people to engage and find value in the connections they make, turn monologues into dialogues and learn together, if they want to, if we want to. We planned for this to happen but we had no idea how or if it would work. While I have been experimenting with the basic design we are using n BYOD4L in other open courses, we have made modifications that makes it a very different offer. Much shorter, 5 days only, over 10 facilitators and a different approach to collaborative learning. Much more driven by the learner. But connections are also looser I noticed. But it still feels personal. People are active in different spaces and there seems to be some activity in physical hangouts as well. Speaking of hangouts, it was interesting that none has happened yet, as far as I can see. Would be interesting to find out what others will say about this.
I went undercover, so to speak, this morning and had a quick look around blog posts and commented on a few while also working. The stories are fascinating. People are challenging and stretch themselves and we have loads and loads of experimenters among us who see it as a good opportunity to have a go and try new things. The process of their development is shared and their products often. Many have set up blogs for the first time, same with video, to capture their reflections, others are making mind- and concept maps and share images. I like that as we can literally ideas develop and grow during the learning process. And I do include our dear facilitators, the whole team. We are all capturing our thoughts and experiences and hopefully all that stuff will be useful to evaluate this experiment. I personally find it very useful for my own professional development. This collaboration is pushing the boundaries of what is possible with no or limited means based on pure good will, commitment and passion, collegiality beyond boundaries but also trust.
In the morning I was reminded by Norman Jackson while reading one of his BYOD4L posts about the need to disconnect, to find peace, with ourselves and with others. To stop, reflect and digest – to learn. Social media are great but we can also become slaves… not good. While we talk about connecting it is also important to remember to disconnect. Ok, we are social animals and we love to be around other people, but all the time? Can we no longer be happy with just ourselves and the people around us in the physical space? Do we need to do everything in public, just because we can? I am also asking myself these questions. What did we do before the internet? What did we do before the social web especially? How are our relationships changing and shaped by our digital presence and identity and the spaces and connections we make there? I will stop here and just add a quote from one of our participants in this evening’s Twitterchat
I am taking part in this lovely informal course.
I would love to find out what makes it lovely and informal and what impact these things have on engagement and learning. Please respond if you have a view and would like to share. Thank you.
Sleep well dear friends and speak again soon. The dance is not over yet 😉
ps. Another song as a title… what will tomorrow bring?