Think, listen, share on our learning process in the 2014 Learning Creative Learning MOOC

With three others (at times that accommodate international participants), we’re planning hangout events in which we will think, listen, and share about the state of our learning in the 2014 Learning Creative Learning MOOC,

The first week (March 18-20) we will pay special attention to a “Prepare” step valuable for subsequent participation in the MOOC — or for deciding not to participate this time around. Participants will discuss what type of learning experience we are looking for; what we could put in place to minimize the barriers or challenges; and so on. The hangout will support us to take the time to address these and related questions.

In following 6 weeks, as long as people keep joining the sessions, there will be similar hangouts about the state of our learning, paying special attention each week to 6 more steps of MOOC involvement: Orient, Declare, Network, Cluster, Focus, Reflect. (The sequence here combines 5 steps identified by Dave Cormier, with pre- and post- steps added by Felicia Sullivan, .)

The hangout hosts are return LCL participants, whose experience in LCL 2013 led to, which addresses the needs of online learners who want to dig deeper, make “thicker” connections with other learners, and connect topics with their own interests.

Hangout times during the week: Tues 7.30am, Weds 4pm, Thurs 9am & 8pm. Note: The USA will be on summer time.


Support for learning: A shift of emphasis can simplify the technology needed

I see a common emphasis as I follow links from Personalized Learning Networks to Personalized Learning Environments to Responsive Open Learning Environments to Personalization Approaches in Learning Environments (see links at the bottom).

The emphasis is on the technology made available (new widgets etc.) as if that’s all a learner needs to pursue their personalized learning.  What needs more developing — or even a central place — is the more human dimension.  Of course, this sometimes happens as one uses technologies to, say, participate in a c-MOOC, but my preference (advice?) is to start from the premise that people need human support to regain their sense of being avid learners and to take initiative to build human relationships to cultivate support for themselves or others.

The shift of emphasis can simplify the technology needed.  Collaborative explorations do a lot with google+ hangouts and private communities.  G+ circles are all that are needed for my recent proposal for Emergent co-exploration in c-MOOCs. And so on.  (See “Guidelines about specific situations and specific ways in which specific technologies are of significant pedagogical benefit” from 2001.)

[Also posted to google+, where additional comments may emerge.]

Collaborative explorations,
Guidelines about specific situations and specific ways in which specific technologies are of significant pedagogical benefit,
Emergent co-exploration in c-MOOCs,
Personalization Approaches in Learning Environments,
Personalized Learning Environment,
Personalized Learning Network,
Responsive Open Learning Environments,

To de-emphasize grading in a non-traditional assessment system the instructor should provide a succinct picture

This post is a reworking (aka friendly amendment) of the learning contract (aka grading system) for Dave Cormier’s ED366 Educational Technology and the Adult Learner ( (drawing on my standard practice–example).
The following features in this reworking should be noted: Read more of this post

What are you doing with “rhizomatic learning”? (#rhizo14)

1. The first question I ask of anyone proposing or using theory to interpret observations is: What can you do with the outcome?  (aka What is the relation between the representation and its implicated practices of intervention in the world?)  Trying to answer that question helps keep use of theory grounded and guides you in deciding how deeply you should get into the work of any give theorist (e.g., Deleuze and Guattari).

2. There are two levels of what you might be doing with ideas about rhizomatic learning:
a. exchanging ideas and affirmations with others who are keen to explore new internet and digital technologies;
b. facilitating learning by others you interact with [and by oneself] in some sphere of work, life, or education (other than exploring new internet and digital technologies).
(I am not averse to a bit of a., but I am hoping for more of b. than we’re yet getting in #rhizo14.)


What’s the use of it? (Complex maps of science in society),
What if everything is always already unruly complexity?,


p.s. The contrast between a. and b. has a parallel in the different responses of a. the Media Lab and P2Pu’s Phillip Schmidt vs. b. the Critical & Creative Thinking graduate program and myself to the same observation, namely, that during the Learning Creative Learning MOOC in 2013 very few of the groups formed by the mechanical MOOC or formed by individuals around a topic ended up with an (inter)active life.  The Media Lab and Schmidt have gone on to create unhangouts — a cool adaptation of google+ hangouts — while CCT created Collaborative Explorations (CEs) (  CEs come with a distinct vision of learning that we want to facilitate; unhangouts leave the processes of learning through interaction to whoever joins a given unhangout.   In a sense, unhangouts are more about TECHNOLOGICALLY-mediated learning than technologically-mediated LEARNING (

(A relevant elaboration: blog post suggest[ing] a way that participants’ interests and energies could have been [more] engaged over the five hours of [an Occupy movement] “dis/Conference”:

Mycorrhizal learning (#rhizo14)

This post addresses the key questions and themes of each week as laid out by the organizer, Dave Cormier, for the P2PU MOOC on Rhizomatic learning.  “Rhizomatic learning is a story of how we can learn in a world of abundance – abundance of perspective, of information and of connection.”  (Rhizomes are not mycorrhiza, but my image of rhizomatic learning is more like the latter, thus the title to this post.)  Read more of this post

Rhizomatic learning, week 1: What happens when we approach a learning experience looking for support that makes it impossible to simply continue along previous lines?

#rhizo14 A collation of my postings to the google+ community  and the P2PU MOOC on Rhizomatic learning.
Read more of this post

Collaborative Explorations to improve the learning that museums try to foster?

It has occurred to me that Collaborative Explorations offer a model (i.e., something to be adopted and adapted) for improving the learning that museums try to stimulate through their exhibitions.  This thought came as I noted how underwhelmed I am by the efforts of science museums, even ones like the Exploratorium,  to engage visitors.   Even when I have fun with the interactive exhibits or enjoy the spectator ones I rarely emerge from the museum with a thread that I can build on and end up with knowledge and understanding that feels creative to have arrived at.
The CE model (adapted from allows us to to experiment with ways to address the needs of learners who want to:
a) dig deeper, make “thicker” connections with other learners;
b) connect topics with their own interests;
c) participate for shorter periods than a course in a classroom (or MOOC); and
d) learn without needing degree or other credits for completion of a course.

I think we could do something interesting in this spirit with a group of 6 at a museum (with access to the internet) in say, 90 minutes.  (After all, even at the Louvre or the Uffizi, one’s eyes/brains don’t take in much after an hour.)  I haven’t worked out the details, but the thought seemed worth sharing.
(None of this speaks to the museum’s collection side, which I do appreciate.)

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