When observing and reacting, I relate first and foremost to human beings. I do not believe this springs from my need of belonging, building a role or forming a community. What I have observed:
Some people trying to understand how all this happens but do not manage to follow as they expect, feel they are not included.
Lynne’s “breathing-in-and-breathing-out-in-foc” title for this post is a metaphor for calming down when in distress and also describes what you do at childbirth to alleviate the pain. She is overwhelmed by the experience, feeling out of breath and at loss by not being able to follow. “I am getting that left out feeling that I recall so well from grade school when being the last one picked to play on the soft ball team… But Debs’ comment on being overwhelmed too and Illya encouragement gave me my feet back and reminded me to breathe.” Like in support groups, finding out and meeting other people who struggle or have faced the same problem, sharing and lending a hand helps those involved to overcome or move “beyond” their condition/experience.
Sarah muses over and reflects on the process and architecture of a blog workshop she gave and what she imagines the best sequence might be: “The week before, we talked a lot more about concepts and I don’t know if that was quite as interesting for participants – they were still focusing on the blog technology. I am wondering now if we would have been better off concentrating on setting up the blogs in the first two weeks, and then in the third week looking at commenting and following blogs in a reader.”
People learn differently through different means and feel stimulated through different environments.
Others, like Dolores in this post, may prefer to ground their experience in theory.
Illya may express some of her concepts through pictures or finding points she connects to in other posts, Greg has been actively representing his thoughts through graphics, while Andrew has started a concept map “to make better sense of the learnscape”.
Some, when taken out of their comfort zone, question the validity of the whole concept.
Trish “what is this for…? I am just contributing to millions of other egos that bumble spewed thought into an endless virtual world? Does publishing this ‘out there’ define me, leave my mark?”
I’d say it does…I see it as the beginning of our social and cognitive presence online, a way we can relate to what and who surround us in this new environment.
Russ wonders how this diffuse, fuzzy learning can occur. “What is learning anyway? Is it that I learned a certain amount of content or is it that I grew in my understanding, knowledge and social skills related to a field of knowledge that actually networks with people’s attitudes, knowledge and actions?”
Kay looks back, incorporates the Zen spirit and let’s it flow. She starts understanding that learning should not be a battle to control time, processes, content or people or respond to assumptions or fit roles. “I am no longer worrying about currently being a lurker … postings are being read and considered. I am reflecting and trying to let go of starting with the end in mind, realizing that it’s OK to not know where my learning will lead, relax and enjoy the journey.”
So I ask – have we ever listened to or read about our own learners’ experience about learning? Do we manage to read behind the lines, check the stories and metaphors used? Have we been able to visualize and map how they are going about their learning so as to help them get better in the process? Can we relate and feel their angst when they understand what to do but can’t figure out how to do it best? Do we let them be and become or do we impose our ways and views of learning?