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To everyone who joined these forums at some point, and got discouraged by the negativity and left after a while (or even got literally scared off): I'm sorry.

I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

I can handle quite a lot of negativity and even abuse now, but that isn't the point. I want to help people. I want to help the people who need it the most, and I want to help people like the 1996 version of me.

I'm still figuring out the best way to do that, but as it is now, these forums are doing more harm than good, and I can't keep running them.

Thank you to the few people who have tried to understand my point of view so far. I really, really appreciate you guys. You are beautiful people.

Everyone else: If after everything I've said so far, you still don't understand my motivations, I think it's unlikely that you will. We're just too different. Maybe someday in the future it might make sense, but until then, there's no point in arguing about it. I don't have the time or the energy for arguing anymore. I will focus my time and energy on people who support me, and those who need help.

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Summer of Connected Learning
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xcriteria Offline
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Summer of Connected Learning

(I posted this in the Summer of Connected Learning G+ community today. Feel free to join and explore the other posts there!)

Welcome to Summer of Connected Learning, or #clsummer14 for the 2014 season.

The story:

Since I was young, I was eager to learn. But along the way, I found that learning wasn't always such an automatic or sustained thing.

It's often said that people are "always learning," which is true in a sense, but I've found it to be very inaccurate at *most* points in my life.

For me, school-as-usual (including college) has tended to be a very poor learning environment, with relatively few substantive moments of learning given the amount of time I've spend in those environments.

I've certainly learned a lot outside school, as well, including on my own, from conversations, from media, from trying things, from observing, from my own thinking, reflecting, and imagining, and just from experiencing life.

However, as a whole, I've often felt like substantive moments of learning (and of accomplishment) have been elusive, and that there must be a better way to go about building learning environments and facilitated sequences of learning.

There's a lot more to say about all that, including about flow states, about the worthwhile experiences I have had, and broader question of everyone else's experiences with learning, which will be a big part of #clsummer14 .

But, to summarize: the past 12-24 months have given me many experiences of learning through connecting that have finally given me the puzzle pieces, if you will, that I think can be adapted into facilitating a worthwhile experience for others.

These experiences have included MOOCs (open online courses), PLN-based conversations (personal learning networks), ARGs (alternate reality games), and participation in online communities in the context of all those other things.

Roz Hussin summed up the experience I think many people have had since 2012, in her post *MOOC Metacognition* from last July:

"I am learning more now, through chatting online with people whom I’ve never met, than I ever have, in my whole life."

https://plus.google.com/+RozHussin/posts/EYniuoZwJu1

That's hardly new -- many people have experienced that in past years. But what's happening lately seems to be something different.

Meanwhile, so many people are stuck in stifling forms of school-as-usual, or stuck trying to figure out how to pursue learning and life paths that aren't based on a pre-defined script.

Those have both been my story at various points, and I'm still figuring it out. But I've come a long way, and I think the various people I've met, and resources I've found, can be useful to others. (Just as I can learn from others' stories, networks, and resources.)

The big challenge I've experienced at many points is that so many of us are dealing with information overload, time constraints, and already having seen so many things, that any arrangement of text, images, video, and so on risks people not finishing them.

So, I'm interested in the question: how can an open course... and an *online community*... and me / us as participants and facilitators, help build the most worthwhile, compelling, and beneficial experience for each other... knowing we all have a bunch of other things going on in our lives?

(I have some answers... but I'm sure there are some I haven't thought of... and the answers may differ between people. What do you think?)

(Link to the G+ thread, if you want to follow up there.)

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06-12-2014 10:58 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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RE: Summer of Connected Learning

I must say, that the frequent use of bold/italic really makes it a lot easier to read your post. Smile

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xcriteria Offline
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Summer of Connected Learning

(06-13-2014 12:34 AM)SoulRiser Wrote:  I must say, that the frequent use of bold/italic really makes it a lot easier to read your post. Smile

That's good to know. Smile I learned that from Justin Schwamm, and how he writes his blog posts. I'm still figuring out the best way to compose things for a larger audience... things that get read, and lead to change. Smile

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Summer of Connected Learning

I think I'll make something similar to what you posted as well, xcriteria. Stay tuned.

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06-13-2014 08:13 AM
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