What’s so good about Digi-CLMooc-Rhizo-ing?

I’ve been asked to give a short presentation to some Psychology of Education undergrads and talk to them about how great my interactions with you folk have been over the last couple of years. I’m finding it hard to put into words what I just think of as messing around on the internet, so I thought I’d ask all of you.

If you were asked to say a few words about what makes these cMOOCish things so fun, addictive, challenging etc., what would you say?

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14 Responses to What’s so good about Digi-CLMooc-Rhizo-ing?

  1. I enjoy the banter, have made good friends etc… but the thing that brings me back to the community and not just the individuals is the ability to think with a group of people on complex problems. Given Audrey Watters’ recent questions about blockchain, for instance, i returned to the community to workshop questions I had. It probably saved me months of research time and piles of unhelpful thinking paths. I keep coming back because it’s super useful. I enjoy coming back because I’ve made good friends.

  2. scottx5 says:

    Making connections with people all over the place. At any time a thought will be responded to fairly quickly and, very often, in an unexpected way. Asking for help is stripped of competition or having to “reveal” something that might be taken as a “weakness” in your real-life roles. You are already pre-approved for curiosity without apology and accepted for whoever you are–or may wish to be at that moment. .

  3. The possibilities of collaboration and creativity, of bouncing ideas off other folks not in our physical “inner circles” and pushing thinking forward with multimedia and writing and conversations. We learn from each other in a bottom-up system, not a top-down “this is what you need to learn” system.
    Or something like that …

  4. I always get addicted/”sucked in” to the internet. Its like my own little world and its always been like that. I guess things are a little more ordered and with myself in control. I’m forever organising things and making sure everything is just-so (eg, bookmarks in the right folders). When too many windows or tabs are open, I can get overwhelmed and then have to shut my eyes and leave things alone for a while.

    As with offline communication, I usually blurt out something stupid, silly or regrettable. Its not only to do with a comment being inappropriate, but also not being able to quickly judge the sensitivity of a situation whilst feeling a need to say something. I tend to realise the subtleties much later and have had time to think about things. Even when I interact face-to-face its difficult for me to read body language (unless its obvious) and pick up on “signals” from other people. I like to be very precise when I write/speak too, and so it takes a great deal of time to order thoughts, write them down and then come up with a response.

    Sometimes its more likely that I’ll regret something online as with some platforms its instantaneous and there’s not the same conversational space for an explanation. I might be able to understand complex concepts, but I lack the bravery, subtly and understanding in interaction and communication (its kind of hard to explain).

    Very often the computer, games, reading things online and such helps me not need to interact with the outside world or at least fill that void of not wanting to be there and that’s kind of how I find some “happiness” or at least comfort. With a computer I can use the ‘Edit/Undo’ process. Basically its more to do with process, than with outcomes.

  5. I tend to like the people and the tag. Seriously, I like following conversations best when they have a focus, and while some may challenge what that could mean with these sorts of learning issues, there is enough in common to have those of us who follow or focus on conversational tags to follow them with gusto. Of course, there is a similar and related group who tends to follow these so it does involve a related group of folks who continually learn together.

  6. Fred Mindlin says:

    I had the great good fortune to be introduced to “formal” schooling at a private progressive school, which practiced (and still delivers!) student-centered, interest-driven, project-based learning. Each group (we did not have grades) discussed together what the group members were interested in learning, and then it was the teacher’s job to construct the entire curriculum for the year around that main interest. No grades were given nor tests administered–learning was assessed in conversation among the student, their parents, and their teacher, and moving from one group to the next was also in large part the student’s decision. All of which is just to say that moocish rhizomes seem perfectly normal–I was always made to understand that I could learn as much from my peers through interaction as I could from a teacher, and that I was in charge of my own learning. That’s the essence of the digimoorhizo, and I recognized her immediately as a familiar beast from my childhood…

  7. Tania Sheko says:

    It’s the ‘other place’ I reside in – the first being, obviously, people I work with. It’s never dull, always moving in so many directions, and so even if I am not always involved in the conversations, I look in and learn so much from what people have to share. Finding people in MOOC communities is like finding a pot of gold because the learning never stops – literally keeps going when I sleep. I have the pleasure of discovering and mining knowledge contributed at any time of the day.

  8. karen says:

    The chance to have meaningful collaboration with a bunch of great folks is what draws me to these cMOOCs. I also appreciate the opportunity to flex my creative muscles and produce gratifying work as a part of the process. Many of the ideas that have been sparked by cMOOCs I’ve been a part of have moved out into other parts of my life and the world as well.

  9. tellio says:

    Just Google “@nomadwarmachine Vialogues”–point out practices we have done together.

  10. Nadinne says:

    I would say that it’s the getting to know different people who can add to your knowledge and make new awesome friends! It’s the fact that’s it’s unconventional learning, which I’ve discovered that I absolutely love and enjoy. It’s also having the ability to interact with the material, with fellow participants and facilitators of the course at any time during the day, knowing that it won’t be long at all till they respond. Another reason I love cmoocing is that you work on different and fun projects and activities that it feels like you’re not in a course, but having fun.
    Hope that helps, and good luck! :))

  11. I have arrived late to the party of the cmooc world and not only am I riveted but I have found solace in a community of critical pedagogues who give me the courage to speak up in advocating for students & scholars freedom and agency in our ever changing digital landscape.

  12. Aaron says:

    My response is rather practical, which surprises me a little because certainly I like the whimsy and relationships. But for me it’s a bit of a dream team to accompany my rather lonely Ph.D. studies – reading D & G was a hard task to set myself, and on my list for a few years, and people here made it easy (by refusing to read them for the first year! what? and making collages and playing! best intro to D & G ever!) and then all that led to some great theoretical conversations and citations in which different ideas got batted back and forth enough to give me a pretty good understanding of the theories I wanted to get a grip on, as well as pointers to other related educational thinkers and philosophers… I have learned a great deal, as in a huge, loosely knit together seminar in which, really, the “community is the curriculum.” There are people here I’d love to study with, and they respond to my ideas and answer my questions in a collegial way and I think these conversations build in what I believe is a rhizomatic way – popping up from different corners, interdisciplinary, subversive, nomadic. Concurrently, I got a whole different sense of a dedication to education that I had pretty much given up on, and was motivated to go back into teaching – a great veering segue in my career that has been terrifically interesting. At my college I’ve been able to look past the things I don’t like because the online groups I’ve been in give me a better sense of what colleagues I might look for, which makes it all more sustainable.

  13. Angela says:

    I think that online learning communities like these are part of that innate desire to roam beyond, and find a space for those happenchance connections. If you constantly roll around only in organisations, conferences and meetings to build your network, you tend to be drawn into the desire to all cluster together in our disciplines and hierarchies. You almost forget that it’s ok to stand alone in a crowd without a context. To just be all of you. To introduce yourself with your passions, not your position. It’s a raw feeling to not have a context or profile and in this raw uncomfortable state, you learn by sharing online, whenever you can, wherever you are.

  14. Simon Ensor says:

    People who stimulate creative learning.

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