Thursday, 13 March 2014

Navigating the Chaos

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via Compfight cc

I am incorrigible. The five weeks of EVO finished a long time ago and here I am writing about Week 3. If you go through my last year's posts (for example, here), you will notice that this is not unusual. For me, real learning starts after the sessions are over. I go through the tasks I skipped, finish the readings and try to stay in touch with the community. And, from time to time, I even post something to my blog.

This year I chose to organise my weekly reflections around #rhizo14 challenges. #Rhiso14 is not even an EVO session, but I did sign up initially because it was my #MultiMOOC "homework" to sign up for a really massive online course and then observe what was happening. I only ever heard about #rhizo14 through #MultiMOOC.

#Rhizo14 was organised around weekly challenges. The challenge in Week 3 was to embrace uncertainty.

Photo Credit: Russ Allison Loar via Compfight cc

In Dave's own words:

We've spent two weeks talking about power - first from the student's perspective and then from the facilitators perspective. Come down the rabbit hole with me my friends. At the heart of the rhizome is a very messy network, one where not all the dots connect to all the lines. No centre. Multiple paths. Where we have beliefs and facts that contradict each other. Where our decisions are founded on an ever shifting knowledge base. Our challenge this week... how do we make our learning experience reflect (and celebrate) this uncertainty?

Dave goes on to ask:

How do we make embrace uncertainty in learning? How do we keep people encouraged about learning if there is no finite achievable goal? How do we teach when there are no answers, but only more questions?

During this same week in #Multimooc, Vance Stevens talked about chaos in learning and its resolution through networking. Here's the link to the audio. And here are Vance's slides:

Chaos in learning: Engaging learners in resolving chaos through networking from Vance Stevens

As you will see, the slides contain additional resources on chaos in learning. In the words of George Siemens: "...but if an instructor makes sense and gives you all the readings and sets the full path in place for you then you are eviscerating the learner's experience."

Yes, but how do you navigate chaos? Maureen Crawford suggests that we Press Pause, Let Go, Let Flow. In her own words:

       "When I try to navigate and respond to the Internet by only using the meta-lanuages of          speech, writing, math and scientific method, I find that often my expectations do not            align with what I am experiencing. If I take a fairly linear approach, thinking that I                  can comprehensively absorb or connect dots with what I already know I quickly find              that there are too many choices, possible directions, and things to be taken into                      consideration. Being methodical and trying to deal thoroughly with one aspect before            moving onto the next does not work particularly well – it is a reflection of my trying to          use old methods with new technology. There is a mismatch – neither one works well            and I become overwhelmed. The Internet is liquid not solid. To navigate I need to                 swim, to take flow into consideration – or as Marshal McLuhan would say, 
        “to use my wit“. Internet Lingo demands navigation by improvisation. When I begin to         feel that too much is happening I need to let go. Giving myself permission play, to let             go,  or to press pause is appropriate and results in the creation of a personal, healthy             Internet ecology!!"

In his webinar, Vance talks about serendipitous learning. If you need to know something, it will find its way to you. If you miss it the first time, it will come back. Trying to absorb it all at once is impossible. It is also unnecessary. Letting go is the first step.

The second step is networking. During Week 3 there was one more webinar in MultiMOOC. Ali Bostanciogly talked about Technology Professional Development: Networking and Online Communities. Here's the link to the MP3. Ali talked about the difference between networks and communities and how they can help us in our professional development.

This was the week when History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education started on Coursera. I have really enjoyed this course and I am going to share a couple of things that fit nicely with the topic of this post. First of all, let me remind you of this video:

Did you see it? I did. But then, I wasn't very good at counting those balls. Maybe because the activity was boring (and I am terrible at boring repetitive tasks). Maybe I am good at multitasking. Or maybe I have an attention deficiency, which is why you wouldn't want me to count your money for you or be a basketball referee when your favourite team is playing.

In the first chapter of her book Now You See it (titled "I'll Count, You Take Care of the Gorilla"), professor Davidson talks about why collaboration has become a necessity in the modern world full of distracting stimuli. She uses the term "collaboration by difference" - we need people who can count and we need people who can spot the gorilla. We also need teachers who can bring together different personalities and teach them how to cooperate. Or maybe the kids will find ways to learn how to cooperate on their own. Isn't that what rhizomatic learning is all about?

Tags: #rhizo14, #MultiMOOC, #evomlt, #evosessions, #futereEd


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...