#Change11 A response on the attack of the killer rhizomes

Here is my response to the post of attack of the killer rhizomes by Martin Weller.

Hi Martin,
Very interesting post. Relating to expertise in chess, I think it really requires lots and lots of practice to become experts, not just having a good memory, or recognising the patterns. I played Chinese chess instead, and I challenged university students even when I was in high school. I don’t claim to be expert, but I do think chess is a mind game where you plan ahead, and recognize the good and bad moves through repeated games, and learn to win once you picked up the “right moves”. I found this concept equally applicable to the learning and up-skilling in other sports, or even driving. However, when it comes to blogging, I think it involves another sets of intellectual capacity. I don’t know if the rules relating to blogging really helps or not, but I do find that I am more creative and productive by not following those rigid rules or guidelines in blogging. Once I had attended formal course on blogging and Web 2.0. However, it was until I actually found a need in engagement with others that I fully appreciated the use of blogs as a tool in learning and communication. This prompted me to further research in the blogs and forums in learning and communication in MOOC. Back to the rhizomatic learning, I am not sure if it is based on the social constructivism, but I do think it has its roots based on social interaction. So, when Dave mentioned that:” A rhizomatic plant has no center and no defined boundary; rather, it is made up of a number of semi-independent nodes, each of which is capable of growing and spreading on its own, bounded only by the limits of its habitat (Cormier 2008).” May be that is where learning on the networks would show up as described. Whether this would lead to fruitful outcomes would really be dependent on how one would value the sporadic growth. To me, I think the learning takes its roots when I understand the patterns that arise with the interaction and engagement, rather than the prescriptive or normative rules. Does it help in creating artificial game rules? I think we have already created rules about these “blogging”: There are no set rules, and learning goes beyond those rigid rules. What do you think?


4 thoughts on “#Change11 A response on the attack of the killer rhizomes

  1. You are quite correct, you become a chess expert through practice. What the psychologists are reporting is that chess experts encode things differently to the rest of us – this is a by-product of the practice. And that probably applies in all domains. The presence of rules is largely an irrelevance I think.
    My point about rhizomatic, or social, or networked learning is that I wonder if we can do much with it. It seems to me that it arises unintentionally and that means it’s very difficult to artificially construct, for example in a course. So what are we, as educators, to do about it? Is there anything beyond just thinking it’s interesting?

  2. Pingback: #Change11 A response on the attack of the killer rhizomes | Learner ... | Connectivism and Networked Learning | Scoop.it

  3. Hi Martin,
    I am with you, in this line of thinking. Relating to chess, I still think the rules of chess are there to constrain the games – so every single chess has its own rules, like the castle could do certain moves, but not others. The expert needs to follow them in their minds, in order to win. What the psychologist might have found is that those experts have fully mastered the rules in mind, and thus be able to anticipate what moves would lead to what particular pattern of moves, so the subsequent outcomes.

    I would suggest that this sort of mastery could be translated also in these social conversation, where we could better foretell who would likely respond, and thus be connected to us, when there are fresh, challenging ideas that we have to reflect and critically think about a good response to our commentator. As you said, you have become an expert blogger through blogging, commenting and thus gaining more experiences in responding to conversation and reflecting on different views.

    Dave’s rhizomatic learning carries lots of interesting, mind-wandering thoughts, where I reckon would align more with the normadic, creative and “traveller” sort of learning – that may also be associated with serendipity in learning. Whether it is intentional or unintentional seems to be moot (arguable?). As educators, I think there is a need of focus, but then there is also a need to encourage the learners to be conscious of what their goals are, in their adventurous and exploratory learning venture. This is especially challenging when navigating in the midst of a complex digital landscape (which sounds alien to many novices), and so certain “guide on the side” either through PLE, or e-mentoring may be helpful. Here is where educators could play a role – in providing some thoughts – as thoughts leaders, in sharing their experiences. I don’t think educators should go back to the sage on the stage, as that would just limit the golden learning opportunities that are afforded by the rhizomatic learning pathway.

    Dave shares his thinking about how it could be applied in nurturing the minds of his son, may be that is one way to liberate learning, in the hearts and minds of the kids, by allowing them to think creatively, and make mistakes, and practice and learn. Whether we should do the same to adult learners may be dependent on the readiness and skills level of these learners. If rhizomatic learning could benefit them to become post-structurist thinkers, and so they be enculturated in a community with sprouts of learning, then isn’t that what we would all like to see too?


  4. Pingback: Week 22: Pierre Levy, The IEML Philosophy | The Georgia Tech MOOC

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