Connecting 131009


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. 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)

Accidental Readers, Connected Learners, Curators

I made a couple of short car journeys last weekend.

Long enough, though, to catch some delightful snippets from ABC Radio National.

On Saturday I listened to Geraldine Doog’s conversation with Hugh Mackay on Digital Tribes.

They were discussing the place of reading newspapers in our everyday life and the changes that are occurring in our lifestyles.

Is the switch to a more visual medium just an aesthetic shift or is it part of a broader trend of simplifying our knowledge base? And how do these differences feed into the broader debate about politics, democracy, and generational wisdom?

A podcast of the conversation can be found here.

On Sunday I caught Mimi Ito on a Future Tense discussion of Creativity. In the transcript of the program Mimi observes that:

I think that we are starting to see a shift in what people think of as creative activity, creative work. I think that you’re seeing that even within the domain of commercial media where you’re seeing forms of media that are about remix, that are riffing on earlier media, that are referencing other media, that these forms of expression are becoming much more visible and part of our common idiom.

At more of the populist or amateur layer, I think the positive dynamic is that we are seeing production, media production, curation, circulation really becoming something that people do on an everyday basis, it’s not just the domains of experts and professionals. So we’re seeing a broadening of the base of what people think of as their everyday creativity.

I think it does mean letting go of some of these cherished notions of individual authorship and lone brilliance and creativity that have animated a lot of our imagination about what creativity means. So in the balance I think there are things both gained and lost, but I see a lot of positive potential, especially from the point of view of young people’s creative expression and what the new digital media has to offer.

From Mimi’s contribution I followed a lead to Connected Learning. I think the design principles for Connected Learning make an interesting link between accidental readers and connected learning:

  1. Production-centered
  2. Openly networked
  3. Shared purpose

… and from there I followed up on a link from Stephen Downes to Beth Kanter’s post The Unanticipated Benefits of Content Curation: Reducing Information Overload. I ended up this journey with a visit to Robin Good’s visualisation of content creation tools.

I like the possibility that this is riffing on a variety of media.

Photo Credit

Riffing on a theme – lost mitten

untitled (riffing)