Role of learners – A response to Mike

Hi Mike,
Thanks for your valuable insights.  I agree with you that educators are still students and still learners.  I have posted my full response on the role of learners on my blog: 
My concern is that due to occasional confusion and conflicts of roles for learners, co-learners or even the teachers, there could be “internal friction” generated amongst network learners upon interaction or connection.  Such practice is apparent in our CCK08 course, especially in the forum.  If we are to adopt this practice in our classroom situation, I am not sure if such role conflicts or confusion would appear or not.  And I am interested in knowing how that could be resolved.
Also, I think this is one of the major areas of concerns in the practice of connectivism, when each of us defines our own boundary based on our needs and interest.  Also, not everyone is sharing the same or similar “values” in the interaction or connection, mainly due to the autonomy and diversity of perspectives and opinions as promoted or inherent in networking. At times, I could see people arguing in those cases or posts in the forum, and not valuing each others’ opinions.  And I wonder if this is viewed as a “best practice” when students in Universities or Colleges, or even K-12 classes are employing such practice.  One could claim that debates are important, but I am really concerned about the emotional outbursts (or the passions) which could impact the learning and the ecology.
Do you see this an issue?
You are welcome to visit and comment on my blog.

2 thoughts on “Role of learners – A response to Mike

  1. Hi John!
    Thanks for your comment on my blog and your kind words. I agree with you this course has been a challenge for everyone, Stephen and George included.
    As you mention, the roles have changed, everyone is a learner, some more experienced than others.

    Answering your question, I find easier to connect on blogs, it is slower but I get too much noise at the forums; I find more personal agendas than learning points. I don’t want to say that there are not learning points at the forums, it’s just harder for me to recognize them there.

    You mention “internal friction” in your post. I think that if you adopt this practice in your classroom and add to it the human aspects you also mention you could diminish that situation.
    Are you willing to give it a try?

    See you around. Maru :X

  2. Hi Maru,
    Thanks for your insights.

    I find it easier to connect on blogs too. I suppose that’s due to the personal space and control that I have. For me, deep learning is still quite personal, and it takes time to learn the philosophy of connectivism.

    I think it’s easier to handle the internal friction in a classroom due to the group dynamics – i.e. peer pressure to conform, and that could reduce the unwarranted or destructive personal criticism.

    I know that there are net etiquette that are available, but I don’t think it’s easy to implement, at least in this course CCK08.
    So, in a network environment, I am still looking for some ideas that could reduce the side effects due to human elements.

    And I am not sure if this is the reason for the decrease in the discussion activities in the forum. I think my co-learners still like to connect, but may find it difficult to discuss in lengths in a public space such as forum.

    Besides, good forum discussion would normally be consisted of one or two paragraphs from each participant, and so each thread must be expressed in a concise format. And there are always misunderstanding or misinterpretation due to the use of jargons and metaphors (typical in connectivism). At times, I thought I was taking an advanced Complexity Science course, and so have to work hard to understand the meaning of all terms.

    As connection is the basic framework of connectivism – the pipe is more important than the content, as always said by George and Stephen, so I would try to learn more through such connection.

    Renewed thanks for your response.
    Cheers 🙂

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