As the past two weeks of ETMOOC have been dedicated to exploring connected learning one dominant theme has been “sharing“. Bloggers inspired by Dean Shareski’s session on Sharing as Accountability have explored the theme overtly in posts such as Lyn Hilt’s Sharing is Caring and Shane Brewer’s Sharing as an Ethical Responsibility. Some of the most powerful work in the last few weeks has been the sharing of questions as folks wrestled with the ideas presented by Dave Cormier in his session on Introduction to Rhizomatic Learning.
Before we leave this theme I want to share with you some words from Stephen Downes written earlier this week when he was asked to give advice to someone wanting to make a meaningful contribution to the quality of education around the world. Stephen is known to many as one of pioneers of connectivism; many of you likely subscribe to OLDaily. But he is also a philosopher and a photographer, and sometimes his words resonate in a way that goes beyond theory and discourse – they get at why I as a parent am advocating for change in public education – and at what I really want for my children.
(Click to enlarge)
As I’ve navigated the fast moving ETMOOC river these last days I’ve been focused on the idea of SHARING. As we explore Connected Learning – Tools, Processes & Pedagogies the theme of sharing has been a big one.
Dean Shareski’s session on Sharing is Accountability (slideshare) contained a quote from Sue Waters that is important for us to consider when deciding what to share:
The idea of blogging as part of a constructivist MOOC is that you’re reflecting and sharing your learning. Ideally what you’re looking for is to learn from others while building on, and adding to what you’ve learnt.
The more you read, participate by leaving comments on other participant’s posts, engage in discussions and conversations – the more you’ll learn and want to share – and this is when you REFLECT on it by writing a post! (slide 71)
A learning moment occurred for me when I purposefully returned to some of the blog posts I had read previously. (I often read a post when I see it pop up on Google+ and that means I’m reading it shortly after posting.) When you revisit a post after a few days there may be a conversation developed in the comments that offers important lessons. For example, this discussion on over-sharing between Brent Schmidt and Sue Waters (much to learn from Sue!).
So a key learning for me this week is how important it is in a MOOC environment to keep returning to spaces that we’ve previously explored, to see what may have changed (or not) and to participate openly in the discussion when you have something to add. We cannot just skim along this great ETMOOC river, we must return to our favourite docks and see what wonderful learning vessels are moored there now.
Photo note: I’ve been wanting for a long while to use this line as a contribution to the Great Quotes about Learning and Change flickr group. I usually use my own photos as a way to encourage me to take interesting/odd pictures on a regular basis. Not having anything on hand that would work, I searched my flickr contacts for a creative commons licensed photo with the word “sharing” and the one above, taken by Dean At Unplug’d11, was included (I’m in there somewhere). A nice way to complete the sharing circle.