This morning was one of those delightful, connecting mornings.
We have had really good overnight rain in Braidwood. The air is cool … and my ADSL connection is working.
I am usually up at 6am and ready to discover the treasure trove that is my online personal learning network.
Each morning, I find myself at the crossroads of the world on a quiet street in rural New South Wales. The ADSL connection is important as I can access a stable internet connection without any latency. This was not the case when I lived out in the country, too far from a telephone exchange to give a hard wired connection point. Connecting there was an act of hope and of profound patience.
This morning’s treasures included:
- Messages from coaches in Europe and Australia.
- An exchange about mixed methods research and the place of qualitative observation.
- An email from a friend in England about ‘tough love’ in open online course design.
- News of the start of an open online course on Sports Performance Analysis.
- News of Stephen Downes’ latest online course Connectivism and Learning.
Back then Clyde Street Mongarlowe, was at the crossroads of the world now it is Elrington Street, Braidwood … or wherever I am with my phone.
I am delighted to be following a new connectivist course. I read Stephen’s OLDaily at the start of each day which sets me off on a journey that starts in Casselman, Ontario, via Braidwood, New South Wales and then on to wherever hyperlinks lead.
My ‘tough love’ email included this advice:
Learning on an interactive platform, as you should do in a lecture or tutorial, and certainly when writing an essay or sitting an exam, you ‘lean forward‘ – you engage the brain – the harder you are made to think, the greater the struggle, the more likely you have learned something lasting and of value on which you can build. (My emphasis)
Connectivist approaches to sharing and learning invite me to lean forward. I find it impossible to stop this movement.
I am nervous when open online courses use the prefix Massive and transform OOCs into MOOCs. I am comfortable in a connectivist world to accept that small is beautiful.
This morning’s treasures at the crossroads of the world emphasise for me the personal essence of learning through connections. They reinforce that beautiful Joi Ito observation that “learning is what we do to ourselves”.
I trust you are having the same kind of experience at your crossroads.