Friday, September 05, 2008

Embarking upon a new and exciting learning adventure

I am intrigued by the tension I always feel when I embark on a new kind of learning adventure. There is always a part of me that pulls back, uncertain, questioning the risk taking that always occurs with any good learning. And on the other hand, I’m ready to jump in, to learn something new, anticipating that incredible high of new insights and perspectives that will impact my ever evolving philosophy of learning. I’ve come to appreciate the tension more as I age and am thankful, that for me, the urge to jump in and learn something more always triumphs.

From my first online course in 1998 that involved readings and submitting papers (The Online Classroom with Dr. Eileen Cotton) to my work in MOOM (Moving out of the Middle with Concord Consortium) where we were immersed in inquiry based facilitation of online courses to my current participation in a “rather large open online course” with 1600 participants to experience connective learning under the facilitation of George Siemens and Steven Downes (Connectivism & Connective Knowledge), the excitement, the tension are palpable.

George Siemens has struck a chord with me when he posts on narratives of coherence for I anticipate this will be a challenge for me as I attempt to make sense of this new learning landscape. He says:
“I’m personally quite interested to see how the concept of a narrative of coherence will unfold in this course. We all face information abundance. We all face the reality that we will always be missing some key pieces of information. A common concern voiced by many of the active participants: how do we assimilate/makesense of this information?!? There’s just too much of it.

Part of the solution is to rely on one’s learning network to filter out nonsense and to draw attention to key ideas. This is particularly effective when we can “plug in” to a network with high levels of diversity and with people we quickly begin to trust.”

But I’ve jumped in again, with an introduction on the course Moodle, and this post --sensing some pretty special opportunities and possibilities for extending learning and deepening understanding-- disregarding the nagging “what have I got myself into this time”, “how can I manage the flood of information”. It’s just time to let the learning begin!!

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