I’ve been kind of hanging out on the periphery of the ongoing discussion about informal learning and networks and groups that has been bouncing around the last couple of months, but a post from Teemu Leinone and specifically a snip in the comments started something in my brain. Here is the snip:

The problem of the edublogasphere (and actually the whole blogasphere) in the context of learning is that people in the sphere do not – at least often – form any groups (an entity of individuals with an objective).

As I’m trying to think more and more deeply about what networked learning really means in the context of how I might want my own children to apply it their own lives, I think this quote struck me because it made me consider how little I’ve actually engaged in group learning around a particular objective within the network. It is, as Teemu says something that doesn’t really appear very often. This has become, for me at least, a very individualized experience. I’ve referred to it in the past as “nomadic learning” because it happens in a very non-linear, concrete objective-less way. (Technically, I think most are attaching the word nomadic to it because of the mobility of the technology to learn, not the randomness of it.) My learning has a general focus and direction, to be sure, but it’s trajectory is determined by whatever is in my aggregator or on my screen at the moment. There are no written down goals or outcomes that I am attempting to achieve which is one of the reasons this is so different from classroom learning.

Additionally, while I am absolutely “writing to be read” here, meaning that I am conscious and on some level hopeful that others will read and engage in these ideas, I’m not reflecting on these ideas with the direct purpose of advancing the the conversation among a group of others that are connected in our study of this topic. If no one responds or engages, that’s ok. More than anything, blogging, in essence writing is a way for me to cement my thoughts into my brain, a purely selfish act.

But what I think struck me about Teemu’s post is that it makes me wonder about the potential of that group focused study that I could be doing yet am not. And why there seems to be so little of that. I think on some level, the independence or randomness of this learning is what makes it powerful, that it can be about anything that we are passionate about at any given moment. But I guess I wonder if maybe I shouldn’t be reaching out more to others to create groups around more focused topics of study, or whether that would work for me.

Just some pre-dawn thinking while struggling with a big cookie hangover

(Photp by pbo31)

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