#CCK11 On PLE and Complexity Theory

Lindsay Jordan comments here that the most productive state to be in is at the edge of chaos – where variety and creativity rub shoulders with competition and co-operation.  I have been on this state of the edge of chaos since CCK08, and so that is why I keep on with my inquiries.  What does it mean to be at the edge of chaos?  Information abundance? Filter failure?  No, that is only part of the equation in living with chaos!  It is about searching for traces of “emergent” learning in a sea of webs, networks, personal identity within the community and networks, and igniting our creativity based on a search of ideas amongst a host of memes, PLE, and people.

I would like to respond to Keith’s post here.  We learn both personally and socially, through various learning platforms and media, and follow such trajectories within and around the boundary of networks from time to time, so as you said it is and, and, and, and not about learning just in solitude.  There are moments of learning when I found each mode of learning would have its place (i.e. PLE and LMS), depending on the sort of learning environment one is more comfortable to learn with.  I could see Dave’s concern about the lack of presence of the educators or even the college setting in the PLE formula. However, I would argue that PLE is an augmentation and extension of the formal HE education, especially in the case of University students, as it is an environment to support learning, and could not fulfil the accreditation role normally granted by the institutions. Relating to the COP as a bridge between personal learner and his/her lived in world, I reckon learners are now leveraging COPs with a combination of PLE/COPs/MOOC to form NOP (Networks of Practice), which may be part of their CAS (Complex Adaptive Systems) and co-evolutionary Learning System within the learning ecology.

I think complexity theory would provide lots of food for thoughts for our education and learning.  We are now in the cross-road in education and learning, at a challenging time, when PLE, institutional education, personal learning and social media are all entering into our equation of life-long learning.  We have to make wise decision to find our way in personal development, and also re-think about how we could contribute to our community, society and global community at large.

3 thoughts on “#CCK11 On PLE and Complexity Theory

  1. Pingback: #CCK11 On PLE and Complexity Theory | Learner Weblog | learning|distance learning|online learning|distance learning course:learning net

  2. Hi John,
    How would the questions be answered by the various folks who contributed to
    Tait, A., & Richardson, K. A. (Eds.) (2010). Complexity and knowledge management: understanding the role of knowledge in the management of social networks. Information Age Publishing.?
    Boulton, J. Managing in an Age of Chaos. jean.boulton@cranfield.ac.uk?
    Peters, T. (1987). Thriving on chaos: Handbook for a Management Revolution. Alfred A. Knopf.?
    George Siemens?
    Stephen Downes?

  3. HI Mary,
    Thanks for the reference, also available here http://www.infoagepub.com/products/Complexity-and-Knowledge-Management
    There are plenty of examples illustrating that:”role of knowledge in the mismanagement of social networks – with spectacular effect”. I reckon a lot of learning trajectories are unpredictable, especially with the PLE entering into the CAS and education ecology, where each agent could be competing and collaborating at the same time to survive and thrive. Is it easy to “manage such chaos”? What sort of intervention or constraints are effective? In a world of flux where management itself might be viewed by the complexity lens, I wonder if the gurus’ answers will rightly predict the future, as revealed in the current financial crisis.
    John

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