Weaving Conversations

TLT Knowledge Log

Theory of flow

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on April 20, 2007

My good colleague Glen has introduced me to the theory of flow. Coming from the work of someone whose name I can’t spell… the theory of flow is meant to explain what happens when a person becomes so engaged in a learning process… and so self-directed… that they continue to work at the mastery process with great focus, discipline and without concern for what’s going on around them. This theory of flow has something to do with motivation and also with interest or expectations for success… almost the notion of belief in oneself and ones’ interest and ability.

I struggle with how this applies to orchestrating change. In a doctoral program in educational leadership and change… we’re about change. Some are willing to experiment… when provided direction. This indicates either a sense of vulnerablity about the process or a lack of skill. Probably a bit of both. Some say they don’t see the relevance to their work. I’m not sure how having access to the body of knowledge through technology and participating in the creation of new content isn’t relevant to every doctoral student’s work. I think the big challenges are: fear of failure and exposure of weaknesses that have little to do with technology. Critical thinking and analytic skills, good writing skills and collaborative instincts are part of this environment. If we are unsure of ourselves in those areas, particulalry in the midst of the rigors of doctoral studies, closing the motivation gap can be a real challenge.

Those who stop themselves do themselve a disservice.

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Irony or response

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on April 6, 2007

A degree in social computing… hmm… I agree with Will Richardson’s assessment of the importance of experiential learning through social networking. Let’s see… all the contradictions in this approach really boil down to not understanding the change in the way knowledge is created. We understand the pace of change, certainly… I say we do what Will suggests!

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Knowledge Management

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on March 31, 2007

Interesting approach to thinking about knowledge management in an organization. Ties in nicely to thinking about portal implementations in higher ed.

Institutional knowledge… not about control, perhaps.

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Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on March 27, 2007

As a doctoral student I’ve thought a good deal about scholarly publishing in the age of the read/write web. So interesting see another collaborative, international effort. Time to participate.

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Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on March 22, 2007

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of Personal Learning Environment. I still think of it as a concept… not a right or a wrong… but a way that we can be independent. If independent then I can make my OWN rules!! I’m really thinking about the PLE as Retreat versus Productivity Suite posting I read today. Interesting concept…

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Being fearless

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on March 17, 2007

Today, with a good colleague, I spent 3+ hours on a Skype call using WebEX to support some of my doctoral colleagues in adventuring with technology. My brother in law is an outdoorsman and talks alot about going adventuring. Through the woods, trails, streams, mountains, tunnels, cliffs and mysteries of the Berkshire, Catskill and Adirondack mountains… What does it mean to be adventuring into new technology realms as a doctoral student. We covered three environments: the desktop, the personal web environment (using the Google portal as an example) and the collaborative web environment (using blog readers and social bookmarking examples).

Adventuring can be scary… can be risky… can be exhilerating…

Here we are… even in the open minded, distributed, special learning place that is our University… and I feel first the fear… and it isn’t fear of trying or even fear of failing… it is fear of not doing the right thing as defined by someone else. I heard myself worrying that this work wouldn’t be considered scholarly, academic or worthy. For heaven’t sake… in whose mind?

I read Ewan MacIntosh on learning from failure and I know it to be true. Yet, still I’m afraid. When I started this program I said I wasn’t going to do anything with technology… it had been my profession for many years as a professional in higher education. Instead, I would draw myself back into the work of an administrator and look at the value of strategic planning… but I find myself lured back to technology as the single most empowering tool any teacher, student, continual learner can have for acquiring knowledge and making meaning.

What are the fears? Okay, here we go:

? Who will I get for an outside reader on my dissertation?

? How will I pick something that can be reasonably studied for a dissertation, even as things are changing so fast?

? If I used grounded theory (an entirely different fear topic!) am I facing two major hurdles in the stages of approval?

? If I don’t use grounded theory… what do I do?

I am going to give myself the same advice I give everyone I work with on technology adventuring. You cannot break anything. You cannot fail. You must experience to learn.

Oh my… my head hurts. Cogent advice anyone?

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2020 Vision

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on March 17, 2007

Judy at Hey Jude provides some interesting graphics for thinking about what’s coming… or maybe coming… or being considered a marketable commodity… or.. well, worth thinking about…

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The basics

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on March 17, 2007

Sometimes it’s important to get back to basics… and help people to organize their worlds and material in a productive fashion. The conversation I’ve been having with colleagues about desktop management, personal web presence and collaborative presence has been delightful. I call this the boring stuff, but it is part of the essential skill set that everyone needs to be comfortable with, I think. No matter how much we resist!

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Learning is Chaotic

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on March 16, 2007

On February 17th I presented, via WebEX and Conference call, the early part of my work on personal learning environments. I was not able to record the presentation, so I went home and recorded. I’ve spent the last month learning more about the “production” side of creating these types of items.

Embedded in my presentation are three videos. The citations for them are included on the last page of the presentation, but just so no one thinks otherwise, I did not produce or create the videos on Web 2.0, Elearning 2.0 or PLEs. These are all available to the public through youtube, google video and a blog. I simply embed them here for your convenience. The production quality is much better if you access them directly, so I encourage you to do so.

Learning is Chaotic, Part 1: Introduction and Web 2.0

Learning is Chaotic, Part 2: ELearning 2.0

Learning is Chaotic, Part 3: Personal Learning Environments

Learning is Chaotic, Part 4: Personal Learning Environments, Part 2

Learning is Chaotic, Part 5: My Experience

Learning is Chaotic, Part 6: Themes

Learning is Chaotic, Part 7: Tools

Learning is Chaotic, Part 8: Carry On!

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Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on March 11, 2007

I spent a good chunk of last week at the third annual conference of the Society for New Communication Research. Most presenters assume ubiquitous access to high speed internet when talking about the impact of “new media” on “old media” and messaging. I kept raising this as an issue, as I believe and am working on research to support the fact that access is geographically and class influenced.

So I was really interested to read the synopses of a panel on class from Alice Marwick’s blog. Important topic to keep working at. And, thanks, Alice for your piece on putting YouTube videos in PowerPoint presentations. That’s how I found you. Grateful I found you!

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