Monday, September 15, 2014

The "on ramp" --

Photo credit

An extraordinary "on ramp" --
already vast learning landscapes--
The pre-course week of Connected Courses

The "voice" of the course calls to me The tone is warm, light; that in itself so warm and inviting. Word choice implies trust in me as a learner, positive intent, integrity.  For example -- guidelines --

captured from 
The community guidelines  -- expectations for honest conversations with a commitment to collegial learning on a number of levels.
"Trust that people are always doing the best they can." 
i the biggest surprise to see and at the same time heartwarming as it aligns with the strength based coaching I facilitate currently.

The language in how to join the syndication flow  -- "We know you're excited but"-- had me smiling as I followed the expert instructions.

And guidelines again for blogging like a champion with the striking images especially the "now what" four legged friend at the end make it clear these were not rules but there for everyone to learn from.

In addition, those invitations are inclusive-- specific instructions for those more novice, additional resources for others more technically competent and assurances that this is not to be about mastery of all content but rather, as Howard Rheingold tweeted

And Mia declared "a guilt-free learning zone"
Informal and Creative--
Full evidence here as Embed, Click and Link lead the second Blog Talk with Howard Rheingold taking a "learning posture" in many instances. The laughter, Link's tools, the hats, the talk of playing, the thorough enjoyment and the potential for learning-- at the end of the session, I begin to consider for the first time the possibilities of my own tinkering; although I know some very very basic html, I'd not ever given a thought to creating such a learning hub believing I lacked the capacity. Thanks much to the "brothers" for opening my thinking.

The potential for options, choice in blogging platform, dipping into the flow make this learning journey feel very personalized.

The facilitators' comments on posts in the pre course establish a real sense that each co learner's voice is important to what will come.

I just have to say-- that Howard Rheingold comment on my first post three hours after it was published was really exciting (continues to be, smiling very very broadly) as I've long been fan of his writing, his ideas, his approach to learning. And just a few hours later, Kim Jaxon left a comment too; I'll learn much from her as learners in her course participate in Connected Courses too.

Instructive and thought provoking --
New learning landscapes and this is just the "on ramp"--

The principles of connected learning -- The interactive graphic, new to me, visually summarizes learning and design principles parallels my aspirations for the current facilitation and community work in which I'm engaged.

As I read Howard Rheingold's Under the hood, where technology pedagogy and power meet I make connections to the TPACK framework that informs my practice, realizing that my stepping out to "look under the hood" can engender more fully the true collaboration and co learning possibilities.
"The technologies of publishing and discourse that become available to those who are willing to look under the hood and try some tinkering can be used as powerful amplifiers of co-learning. The objective is not to teach mastery of web media, but to make it easier for students to take responsibility for their own learning and enough co-responsibility for their classmates’ learning that a real learning community can emerge."
And then in Reflection conversation co learning this!
"Reflecting on texts is a path to understanding by an individual learner, but when a group of learners reflect in public, they provide a rich field for conversations about the material. Debates. Conjectures. Contrapositives. Analysis. Conversations can lead to co-learning, when other elements — trust, shared purpose, fun, reciprocity, serendipity, lead learners, skilled facilitation — combine to influence groups of learners to be co-responsible for each other’s learning."
There it is, eloquently articulated, a description of our recent Connected Coaching Strategies 2 with one exception-- "in public". I now imagine the possibilities had that been the case.

Reading and rereading Maha Bali's Process for Connecting,  and wondering and thinking on her image and my experiences (a shared purpose/vision enabled connections)-- reflecting deeply on the essential component of trust in the process, the need for trust in self, and for reciprocity. Her post causing me to explore my own thoughts more deeply, still.

Why this matters to me --
On a personal quest to become more inviting, even more inclusive in facilitating connected learning in online spaces, I'm soaking up the modeling and demonstrating to adopt/adapt for the K12 environment in which I facilitate and co learn.

Wanting to stretch my thinking and doing, aspiring to better articulate my thinking, and yes, wanting to exercise this old brain in the best of ways--

Connected courses modeling, demonstrating the best of ramps onto learning - I'm more than pumped for the next leg of this connected learning journey.

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