Rhizo 15 - A practical view

Monthly archives for May, 2015

Week 6 – Rhizomatic learning, a practical guide

Well. For years I’ve been trying to understand how to make artifacts of the voices in an open course. It’s never worked. So lets try again. Lets build a practical guide for rhizomatic learning. The rhizome will continue… but what can we leave behind?

What would you say, do, show, explain to a colleague about the rhizome to explain it to them? Do you have an example? A video? A koan? What should an artifact of a rhizomatic event look like? What can we leave behind to remind us of the people we were now? How can we tell stories to explain the rhizome?

That’s the challenge this week. Explain the rhizome. Create a practical guide… one post at a time.

Week 5: Is community learning an invasive species

Rhizomatic plants are chaotic, aggressive and resilient. It models some of the qualities that can make a good learner. The rhizome, however, can also be an invasive species. It can choke other plants out of your garden such that only the rhizomatic plant remains. We’ve just heard from Aras that “the number of active participants [on twitter] are decreasing while density (interaction in the rhizo community) is increasing”. How do we make sure there is always room for new and contrarian voices? Do we need to create a them to have a we? How do we cultivate a community learning ecosystem so that it continues to grow outward rather than inward? What does that mean for learning?

Must rhizomatic learning be an invasive species?

Your challenge
This week take a critical look at the rhizomatic approach. Are we just replacing one authority structure with another? Trading tradition for community? What does this mean in our classroom? How can this get us into trouble? What are the ethical implications of creating a ‘community’ for learning? Community as conformity?

Week 4 – Can/should we get rid of the idea of ‘dave’? How do we teach rhizomatically?

I was very excited about my week 4 topic, but i was intercepted by a veteran MOOCer from India, Viplav Baxi, who had a different question: “should we, can we or how do we replace the idea of “Dave”?”

I heartily invite you to read Viplav’s blog post, but where he talks about learning online generally, I’ve been hoping to focus on more formal education for this course. I think there is value in the ‘course’ in the sense of the eventedness that it represents. It’s a chance for people to come together and focus on a particular topic… it’s one of the ways to garden the internet. But what is the role of the facilitator/teacher/professor where we are using learning subjectives, where learning isn’t measured and where content is actually other people? What cultural concepts do we have that we can use as models? Do we need a new model?

How do we ‘teach’ rhizomatically? Or, even… do we?