Monday, 15 July 2013

Connected Learning and reflections on making

Well I've hacked Chad's Thimble page. Unfortunately, I am not thimbley enough to be able to alter the map so I've added in what I thought originally was superfluous information (my children, my siblings, etc.) However, on reflection, my place in the family as the eldest of five, and the impact that my children have had on my growth and learning over the years had to be included. It's connected. It's connected to my emotional well being as well as my need to learn. There was no spot for my husband specifically but he is the long pink line (and I included the times he was away that impacted most heavily on our family- not all- my tube map would then run out of London and into the country side.) Sometimes I wonder why I have invested so much into formal learning, since financially it hasn't always been the smartest thing for me to do. My resume is littered with incomplete transcripts from universities I've attended but left because we've moved. I've commuted over 6 hours a week to get to class and then had to pack it in because we've moved yet again. Thank goodness I am stubborn. It took me over 15 years to get my Masters at more than three universities.

What is the power of making? The power of understanding. The power of reflection. To create this map I started first with Sara Green's titles and filled them in. But I hadn't entered more than three titles before I realized I needed to think and reflect on my learning, not Sara's. Not to treat this as an exercise/fill in the blank opportunity, but as an exercise to study how does everything I do (pottery workshops, moocs, classes, cooking with my mother) impacts on everything I teach and learn. How has my personal life impacted on my professional life? They are intertwined and cannot be disconnected, just as my interactions in moocs cannot be disconnected from my work as an instructional designer.

For me, I pursue both formal and informal learning opportunities for a number of reasons: employment, curiosity, enhancement and/or exploration of new skills, and for the needed external push to keep on improving. But why connected learning? Because I am someone who recognized early in my life that I need feedback, conversation and exposure to different perspectives to make my learning happen at the highest level. It is when I connect the most, that my brain is firing the fastest. I literally could spend my life just conversing about ideas with others. In the end though, while my learning is socially driven, the satisfaction is always personal. And perhaps, that is why it is so important to me to share. Wouldn't it be nice for all of our students to be connected and have that sense of personal satisfaction from their learning?


  1. I have lately been thinking of the same ideas you pick up so eloquently--sharing, connection/feedback, feeding forward off of others' ideas. That's intrinsically good. It feels good and it makes our spirits sing. Now that we are getting to the end of the Clmooc we need to ask: where will this take us into the world. Specifically. That is my thinking now, where will all these connections draw me to.

  2. Hi Terry,
    So sorry this has taken me so long to reply. Yet in a way it is good that I have waited. #clmooc has been over for a few months and yet I still connect with members of #clmooc. I've joined Headless DS106 and I continuing to move forward in the desire to be a connected learner. Am I perfect at it yet? Nope! But I love the road I am traveling. Looking forward to continuing the conversation.