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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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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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Informal Learning

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on February 15, 2007

As I’ve been working on my studies in Teaching, Technology I have been influenced by many current thinkers/theorists. Jay Cross and informal learning were among the first I read seriously. I found that I had adopted the term quite easily, as a description and an explanation of what I was experiencing

Jay’s recent commentary:

Stephen hopped in with a lengthy critique saying, among other things, “If there is anything to the theory of informal learning, then the values it expresses are more than just preferences on a sliding scale.” I’m not a philosopher, but this seems like telling the Ferrari dealer I’d like a red one, only to be told there’s more to a Ferrari than its color. No joke. If a Ferrari were merely wheels, speed, color, and so on, a Toyota would suffice.

Saying Ferraris come in a choice of colors (I saw a green one a couple of days ago) does not denigrate the mystique, aura, beauty, and utter Ferrari-ness of the car. But I digress. I’ve suggested to Stephen that we converse on the subject, record it, put it on the web, and see if it advances understanding.

When people disagree, I want to understand where they’re coming from. I’m on a quest to make organizations more effective and workers more fulfilled and happy in their lives. Since hearing David Cooperrider in New York last month, I’ve tried to adopt his stance that you get a lot further building on strengths than sorting through problems. I’ll address my critics when Epson and others stop making it hard to get through the day. I’m busy at the moment. Customers come first, academic argument later.

Let’s think of ways to air these issues in public. They are important. At Training 2007? At the Guild’s Annual Gathering? In an online gathering? I’m always up for honest dialog. What we’re addressing, such things as knowledge work, learning as co-creation, more self-service, taking advantage of network effects, learning with both sides of the brain, and giving people the freedom to do what’s right is a gut-wrenching change from the status quo. Some see a job threat; others, a career opportunity.

I encourage those joining the debate to do their homework — by looking further than one blog post to support their take on things. Let’s go beyond knee-jerk reactions.

I say… let’s do it. Let’s organize another online conference… a la the Online Connectivism Conference… The more the academic dialog and discourse flourishes the better for all!

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