Connecting 131009

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I enjoyed an exchange yesterday about my Connection 131008 post with Irmeli Aro.

Irmeli observed that “I’ve discovered the most heartfelt and productive collaboration through disconnected nomadism!” In my haste to respond, I wrote about my admiration for Irmeli’s connectedness. In terms of the Dan Pontefract’s matrix I was sharing, I thought Irmeli was a wonderful example of a collaborative learner.

I was thinking about the personal learning network Irmeli has developed when I read in OLDaily today that Stephen Downes will be discussing self-directed learning. Stephen linked to Jeff Cobb’s post about self-directed learning.

In his post, Jeff proposes that “the successful lifelong learner”:

  • Takes initiative
  • Is comfortable with independence
  • Is persistent
  • Accepts responsibility
  • Views problems as challenges, not obstacles
  • Is capable of self-discipline
  • Has a high degree of curiosity
  • Has a strong desire to learn or change
  • Is self-confident
  • Is able to use basic study skills
  • Organizes his or her time
  • Sets an appropriate pace for learning
  • Develops a plan for completing work
  • Has a tendency to be goal-oriented
  • Enjoys learning

Stephen picked up on Jeff’s point about being comfortable with independence:

Self-directed learners do not always act autonomously or independently. Indeed, increasingly they must cultivate their networks to learn effectively. Nonetheless, successful self-directed learners know how to be self-reliant.

Perhaps this is where my exchange with Irmeli comes together … nomads are self-reliant but have some fundamental lessons to share with others in an eco system flourishing through cooperative and collaborative networks.

Today brought another example of the opportunities to learn through open sharing. Paper.li brought me a link to Maria Popova’s post on How to be an Educated Consumer of Infographics.

I have been think a lot about visualising data after visiting the Sydney Moderns exhibition. I liked the quote from David Byrne in Maria’s post “It’s not easy, as one can be seduced relatively easily by colors, diagrams and funny writing”.

I take one of the real benefits of connecting with our networks is that our seduction helps us to appreciate and learn. (Beth Kanter’s post is an excellent first step.)

I am hopeful that connecting does enable us to become the connoisseurs Elliot Eisner so appreciated and enabled to flourish.

Exchanging ideas with a colleague in Finland from rural New South Wales in Australia underscores just how exciting trying to become a connoisseur can be.

Photo Credit

Practicing (Irmeli Armo, CC BY NC-ND 2.0)

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