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?
I’ve always been a little confused by the word ‘content.’ There is something lonely and unconnected about the word somehow, when i hear it used with reference to what happens in learning. I imagine a lone student, huddled away in a dorm room, reading sanitized facts in the hopes of passing a multiple choice quiz. The content somehow merging with the learning objective and the assessment to create a world where learning is about acquiring truth from the truth box.
We talked a little this week about how Descartes, ‘thinking alone in his room’ was really carrying on conversations with hundreds of correspondents, and with many other people (also mostly old white men) in the record of their thoughts printed in the books in his library. Even the citation in our research methods is about pointing to the web of people’s thoughts… about preserving the history of the story we are telling.
So what happens when we peek under the word ‘content’ to see what lives there? What does it mean for a course to ‘contain’ information? What choices are being made… what power is being used?
Welcome to week 1.
Ok friends and neighbours, I have no idea where this is all going to get us, but we’re 1000 tweets in and the course starts right now. Or, if you believe @kwhamon, I missed the start of the course by two weeks. Please remember, you don’t have to read everything. Start from your work, engage with individuals. You might find two or ten or a hundred people to work with, it just depends on how you like to work. If it’s your first open course, you might find this ‘how to succeed‘ video useful. If you’d like to know how to reach people, check out my practical guide post.
WEEK ONE TASKS Introduce yourself, follow one of the threads of discussion somewhere. Comment on someone’s work. Get acclimated.
Build learning subjectives: How do we design our own or others learning when we don’t know where we are going? How does that free us up? What can we get done with subjectives that can’t be done with objectives?