Chris' public learning wk 2

Saturday, 9th March

I've been thinking about why I ducked David's post of the excellent TED talk that Sugata Mitra gave recently. Too much of it reflects the broad philosophy I brought to the desgin and teaching of this course. I still think that declaring that kind of a hand early on would have jangled the confidence of the folk who are still attached to the normal experience of a course. I guess my blatherings in the first chat conveyed something about what I intend/hope for. But it is still important to accommodate folk from both extremes, i.e. those who get where I want to go and embrace as well as those who simply want to do the course.

Reading Brooks1 which fits nicely with the problem of how to structure the tasks and still allow the freedom for them to choose what they want. We, they and I, have the same problem so to speak and it is one of design.

Thursday, 7th of March

I should have been writing more in here. Learning again about the always different set of preferences of how students like to work. It makes little sense trying to impose anything other than a minimalist structure. We now have the hangout set at 8 each Monday. I keep thinking that any piece of formal teaching has a very game like logic to it. In crude terms students are often trying to guess what I am thinking, what I want and no amount of preaching to them about the importance of them doing something professionally valuable will assuage that concern. I've yet to work out a good way to get folk who are a little shy about sharing, participating. The basic reason I want to is that I am firmly convinced that to know something better, you have to teach about it. Most teachers know this which makes it odd when they are in a setting like this that are reluctant to try their ideas out or to help someone else. The motif that I think characterises the digital scholar is that described by the quote on the front page of the research kitchen.

The most respected people at IDEO are part pack rat (because they have great private collections of stuff), part librarian (because they know who knows what), and part Good Samaritan (because they go out of their way to share what they know and to help others).

It is interesting that I am thinking about persuasion or nudging as the behavioural economics folk2 would have it and that is also what some of the clan will end up producing, a persuasive resource.

Education has done persuasion pretty badly I think. It is often so unsubtle and there is an assumption that direct didactic methods are the best way to do it. I think that is such a dumb position. Which takes us back to the behavioural economics folk and the clever notion of nudging3.