Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Learning Subjectives and #rhizo15

So...  Dave starts us off with identifying our learning subjectives for #rhizo15.  That should be easy, shouldn't it?   I mean, aren't they really our own personal objectives for doing this thing?  Or is there something else to them?  Or are they even any one thing?  Gotta start somewhere so that will be my first assumption:
Learning subjectives are goal-like things I hope come to pass due in whole or in part to my involvement in #rhizo15.
I guess I'm interested in understanding learning communities better and thinking about learning in new ways.  If I'm going to do that I have to break out my old tools (since I haven't acquired any new ones yet) and drill down to the bedrock: What's a community?  What's learning?

It's probably incredibly arrogant of me to think that I can summarize either community or learning in some neat, all-encompassing way.  But I need something; something I can start with and build up or chip away at.  So timidly putting forth a couple of assertions I'll state:
Community in this context is a group of people drawn together by some common interest.  People engage with each other.  Share knowledge.  Develop skills.  Acquire perspectives.  Know and are known.  Over time personal levels of interest, engagement, knowledge, skills, and experience are increasing and decreasing in relation to the rest of the community, and some kind of sum over everyone's levels of these things represents characteristics of the community that in some unfathomable (to me) arithmetic expresses the "health" of the community.  A person can drift away from the community and the community can drift away from a person.
And crawling farther out on this limb I'll say that:
Learning amounts to on-going effects of participating in the community.  
I wonder what my understanding of community and learning will look like by the time #rhizo15 wraps up.


  1. When it wraps up, haha. Us rhizo14 are still awaiting that ;)

    Love your tentative ideas about communities. Look forward to talking more about that :)

  2. What is "community" is such a good question to walk with because it's often used as an empty signifier, to mean whatever the speaker wants it to me, particularly in education and health. It can mean either a place or connections. Facebook #rhizo15 is in itself not a community but the activity of connecting with likeminded others (or even disagresable others) on Facebook is a community. I like your definition. Welcome :)

  3. Very much like your definition of learning, and look forward to journeys down the "at-what-point-does-the-rhizomatically-inclined-network-become-a-community?" rabbit hole ;-)

  4. My guess is we will come out of #rhizo15 with some great new PLN members, amazing ideas and experiences, and some freshly baked cookies. :) Welcome!

  5. Hi Blair, liked your post. You leapt right in there wrestling with that tricky word 'community'! Happy to be in this one with you! Best, Sandra

  6. Drawn together and pulled apart, again and again and again. Perhaps it's movement?

  7. Enjoyed this, Blair. Looking forward to hearing how your views evolve over time. And as Sarah said - we of #rhizo14 don't understand the concept of wrapping up!