Personal Learning and Cooperation

I have missed (at least) two cMOOCs in the last month.
I enjoyed reading Brian Kelly’s discussion of his assignment for the Hyperlinked Library MOOC. Participants in the course were asked to produce an Online Professional Learning Network (OPLN) that comprised:

  • A Goals Statement
  • A Defined Scope
  • A Resource Network
  • A Network Maintenance Plan

Brian, a newly-appointed Innovation Advocate at Cetis at the University of Bolton, provides his responses to these four requirements. I thought it was a very clear response to the course requirement. I liked his use of Coggle to visualise his OPLN an to provide an interactive example of a Coggle.
A post by Helen Blunden alerted me to the second cMOOC I have missed, Exploring Personal Learning Networks. This cMOOC had the following task:

Your CEO (or equivalent organizational leader) just heard about PLNs at a cocktail party and is excited about gaining a competitive advantage (or improving impact on mission) by leveraging PLNs for the organization’s success. But, she/he knows little about PLNs or what to do with them to support organizational success and strategy. Is the organization set up to benefit from and support PLNs, so it is more than just an individual thing? She/he is going away on vacation for one week, and upon return wants you to explain what PLNs are and to provide guidance for what to do. You have a one-hour meeting to facilitate a conversation.

I admire the way Helen considers and explores ideas. This post was an excellent discussion of how to share and what to share.
Helen’s presentation to her imagined CEO can be found on SlideShare.  One of her twelve slides (slide 4) uses this image:
I noticed that Helen had used Shadow Puppet as a presentation tool. As with Brian’s post, I was fascinated how Helen explored a range of tools in her post and in her practice. I noted Helen’s link to Jane Hart’s matrix of willing (unwilling) learners and self-directed (directed) learners.
Thinking about Brian, Helen and Jane led me to ponder the points made in Christopher Lynn’s post, Cooperators Attract Cooperators, Non-Cooperators are Stuck with Each Other.
I do think that personal learning environments that encourage open sharing are very powerful. My network has recurring links to Brian, Helen and Jane. I benefit enormously from their cooperative spirit.
Christopher shares an observation from a study by Coren Apicella, Frank Marlowe, James Fowler, and Nicholas Christakis

social distance appears to be as important as genetic relatedness and physical proximity in explaining assortativity in cooperation” & that “social networks may thus have contributed to the emergence of cooperation.

I wonder if my environment and network can develop MARLIN characteristics. Samah El-Tantawy‘s work on using game theory and artificial intelligence to improve traffic flow has got me thinking how cooperation can enhance personal learning opportunities that remove some of the noise from my environment and network … and render cooperation even more possible.

Photo Credits

Popular Art 1 (Crouchy69, CC BY-NC 2.0)
Brian’s OLPN (Brian Kelly)
connected learning (Catherine Cronin, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Phone-wire tangle, exterior riser, London, UK (Cory Doctorow, CC BY-SA 2.0)


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