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Free-range Thoughts

Marinating in the Mooc

Last night I was interviewed by Mohsen Saadatmand (a fellow PLENK’er) on my PLENK mooc experience. I was able to say uncategorically that it was the most transformative education experience I have had in a long time. I narrow in on the reasons a bit more with each wave of reflection. It has something to do with the fact that one is suddenly thrust into a community of practice AND one then gets to practice amplifying oneself through and with that community – while at the very same time pursuing more precisely the threads of meaning that interest one personally. That is a very dynamic combination. Not to mention, many ways of working collaboratively can only be done, or be practiced, from within a community of practice. It takes a while to shed the habit of working alone. It is so deeply ingrained.

The community provided  a rich tapestry of resources enabling a dense  connective environment of resources to explore. 90% of those resources sit in my Diigo account awaiting my attention – this summer.

As Clay Shirkey noted, educators are faced with a dilemma: for so long we have believed that our product is individual minds. How do we accommodate the new reality of knowledge that lives in networks? Is it a hive mind? How do we approach the problem of information overload? filtering based on our communities of affinity? Well, this is it: PLEK12 is ground zero! The mother of all innovative edges, one that I believe will eventually erode the core of the “we have always done it this way” educational models. If you have read The Power of Pull you will recognize some of the buzz words.

As work environments go, I noticed that IBM was onto something early in the game so I was not surprised to read that our fearless guide Wendy Drexler had worked there before returning to education. But 10 years ago I am sure that I would not have been able to  tell you precisely what IBM was on to but I believe it did have to do with creating personal knowledge platforms.



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