(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.
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."
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.)