Friday 28 February 2014

Farewell to #rhizo14 (– hello #LiveArtHistory – next post)

So it’s a sort of goodbye to the wonder that was #rhizo14 – but not quite and not yet… For one thing we are taking forward the autoethnography project – so if you were part of #rhizo14 for any amount of time – we would love to have your experiences here:

For another – who could let go of a FB Group (Sarah, Simon, Apostolos, Scott, Dave… you know who you are!!) that sprouted wonderful discussions like this:
Heeeeelp! I have to write a piece titled: "What does the metaphor of the rhizome mean for collaborative learning. How would it impact on teaching methods?" and I am stuck. What the heck is this rhizomatic learning anyway? [How can learning] be structured, but still be spontaneous. 
Be still. Let em sing/dance/write/graft/dig and together make a show. This came to mind:
It's all very woolly. My thesis might be about collaborative learning in undergraduates, it's up to me to make up some models. There's this thing called patchwork text that I am quite drawn to, also some comments by John Seely Brown that I have half remembered ... 
I suggest knitting.
I’m always knitting, fecking uni won't accept it as a PhD thesis!
Our Dave: What does the metaphor of the rhizome mean for collaborative learning - the rhizome challenges collaborative learning to allow learners to really be at the centre of the learning. If there is no beginning and end, and all is middle, then we need to allow for student to make their own map of the territory being studied. The facilitator sets the ecology for learning, tends the garden, but allows the rhizomes to spread, be cut off, and re-grow elsewhere. It also challenges the possibilities of outcomes as being seen as objectives. Goals can be shared as a community, in face, they shape the community, but objectives grow as part of the mapping process.
How would it impact on teaching methods - many teaching approaches start from the hoped for outcomes and work their way backwards. The rhizome challenges this as an artifice that is a child of hierarchy. Hierarchies for learning and knowledge that are legacies of a book driven, yes/no, final product history that overlays a deep complex human experience. If the outcomes are actually the coming together of the lines of flight that occur in the middle space, they will shape themselves differently for each learner, and the maps themselves will be unique (or close enough to it). This actually mirrors the 'real life' experience of professionals and more closely emulates our goals in that as educators to prepare students to be creative participants in their field of study: This course hopes to prepare the learner for dealing with uncertain situations with respect to educational technologies. The goal is *not* to teach any specific area of edtech nor to achieve a level of competency with a specific tool but rather to introduce and develop the literacies required for being able to make good decisions with respect to technologies in an educational context.
There are lots of tools out there, and, in some cases, they change all the time. The communication skills involved in being social... those are constant. The process of converting your existing skills in being social, in doing research, in project management, in information literacies - this is the focus of the course. And I expect that to work out differently for each student. We all come to this kind of course with different understandings and a different background and I expect we’ll all come out with different outcomes. That’s good. And expected. If I do my job in this course as an instructor, you’ll be working for yourself... not for me.  
I talk about literacies. uncertainty. decision making. creativity. lots of nice buzz words. This year I'm going to be adding 'abundance' and 'permission'…
People like terminology. From what I was reading recently: Agent-Based Modeling ABM's (fits with shaken not stirred). "Thus relying mainly on experimental and descriptive approaches places limitations on a quest to seek understandings of the possibility space over which an emergent phenomenon may unfold." Dad, you're talking out your ass again. "...can reveal insights that may otherwise remain elusive..." (I love "elusive" much better than "slippery." … I'll keep slippery then. Goes with just having our car fixed. They took 3 days and claim it was because they were "short one seal and had to order another." I can see this as problematic for an active circus but not a car dealership. Having fish left over at the end of the day should have alerted someone? … Don't the slippery town fathers always take the badge away from in-corruptible sheriff in the westerns? Badge-less I stand on the side of honesty and the more elusive, justice.
If that leaves you a bit breathless and hungry – join the #rhizo14 FB Group – you will be welcome. Spread the rhizome. Be the fungus!

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