Irmeli Aro #moodleMOOCs throughout the Summer 2013

CCK08 Understanding Self (Connective Behaviour in Practice, Part 1/8)

with 9 comments

The theme of the beginning new week 9 of the CCK08 Connectivism and Connective Knowledge course is: “What becomes of the Teacher – New Roles for Educators”.

According to the Learnscape Sandbox Team: “Curriculum-free, interactive and self-service learning is the way of the future: Ecologies where work and learning are one and the same, where people help one another build competency and master new crafts, where members of self-sustaining communities of professionals participate because they take pride in maintaining their standards and doing a great job, and where everyone strives to be all she can be. Open, participative, bottom-up, networked, flexible and responsive learning –  that’s what we’re after.”

Dave Pollard has collected a comprehensive list from the contents of his blog posts perceiving answers to the question: “In a world with a billion people online, connected in multiple and unfathomably complex ways, how do you find, and then connect, with just the right people to do what you need to do:

1 ) Know yourself well, so you really know what you’re looking for in a partner (in enterprise, in community, or whatever). You can’t find the right people until you know what you’re looking for. 2 ) Get attention by saying or doing something important or interesting. Articulate an unrecognized need or a creative idea or a provocative possibility or an intriguing offer. Do something bold and imaginative. Make something truly novel that the world needs (a prototype will do). This is not easy, but if you can get people’s attention, you are more likely to have the people you need to find, seek you out and connect with you. 3 ) Craft an invitation. Write up something compelling and send it out to as many people as possible, asking them to forward it to others. The people who accept your invitation will be the right people. 4 ) Get out there and have a lot of conversations and collaborations. Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince. So join groups that will expose you to people with common interests, and converse and work with their members. The more people you talk with, seriously, about things that matter to you, the more people you are likely to find who share your passions and your purpose — the people you are meant to make a life or a living with, or just work together with on an important project. 5 ) Be loving and generous. Great collaborations and partnerships have great chemistry. Open yourself up to that chemistry, and let others know you are open to it. 6 ) Be attentive. The people who can make a difference in your life, on your project, and in the world are often not the people you would expect. Listen, watch, feel what’s being felt but not said, draw people out. 7 ) Seek diversity. The wisdom of crowds demands diverse perspectives, ideas, ways of thinking. Echo chambers are terrible places to generate new ideas and ways of thinking. 8 ) Draw on the strength of weak links. The people you seek may well be two or three degrees of separation from the people in your immediate networks. Ask the people you know who they know that fit what you’re looking for.

Thank you Dave for providing me a frame of reference for the last third of the CCK08 course! This post begins a series of blog posts describing in practice, how I have changed my thinking in order to learn a connective way of behaving i.e. experiencing a transformation into a connective person. During the remaining four weeks of the CCK08 course I’ll create two posts a week, following the above procedure (1-8) listed by Dave – this first post is dealing with 1 ) “Know yourself well”.

According to Saarinen & Hämäläinen (2004, 13) the change required when learning e.g. the modeling of complex systems as well as the mathematical models of decision making, competition and cooperation consists of the following four dimensions: Mental change => Perceptual change => Individual behavioural change => Change in the system. Here’s how I see my mental change towards a connective personality illustrated in seven pictures.

Picture 1: May 2004

As a part of an assignment belonging to my studies of natural resources, I was asked to illustrate my favourite landscape. I chose a picture from North Norway – like the above one I found in VirtualTourist today – and added some Indian wisdom: Among all tribes of our people there’s a learning according to which it’s essential to find a quiet place – in the middle of bare mountains, in the desert or by the see in order to increase understanding of the direction of the creation. We are all aware of the power of the prayer strengthening our senses, the fast, sweating and other meditative ways which help us become pure and prepare the spirit and soul to hear the voice of the holy secret. (Akwesasne – I only found this in Finnish, the translation is my free interpreting).

Picture 2: October 2006

I became conscious of this phenomenon – how my current competence to learn can be put in form of a picture in my mind – when I was writing the first draft of my Bachelor’s Thesis. This happened almost two and a half years after having completed the above mentioned assignment – which was the first of a kind, when I was asked to prune my thinking with help of choosing a picture. This second time was not connected to any actual assignment. I was collecting source material regarding transformative learning. I was reflecting ideas of how creating a multi-cultural learning environment is like building a bridge – how it really resembles a true complicated constructing process of an actual bridge. I could see a clear visual image of my favourite landscape – a scenery – in my mind. It was full of children of different ethnic backgrounds. It was full of voices and laughter. This picture, advertising Multicultural Literature, hits very close.

Picture 3: July 2007

I was finalizing the above mentioned Bachelor’s Thesis. I was reflecting my experience of transformation: I was beginning to perceive that my learning consists of repeated processes of externalizing the changes I experience when I through learning increase  my cultural self-awareness. I attached the above picture in one of the last chapters of my thesis. The text was as follows: “I see the current phase of my learning to be like the bridge in the attached picture. I’m about to reach the other coast. My next learning cycles will not only reveal the landscape itself, but also show how my transformative learning journey did change the scenery.”

Picture 4: September 2007

As the first assignment of a new semester I was asked to describe how the beginning of my current Master’s studies will enhance my career prospects. This is what I wrote: “I’ve got a lot of ideas under construction for how to proceed after the take-off. I’ve learned though – know out of my own experience – that the best results in learning and life are achieved by giving coincidences a change. The attached picture represents one of my favorite paintings “Green Square on the left” by Ahti Lavonen (1968), EMMA Espoo Museum of Modern Art. My learning and life are like in the green square. I’m moving clock-wise. The ground is stable – but full of fascinating, still unrevealed opportunities.

Picture 5: August 2008

I was visiting the EMMA Espoo Museum of Modern Art again. When seeing this piece of art – it immediately hit my mind: This is how my learning currently looks like. And that’s how it was like during the first third of the CCK08 course. I was trying to figure it out. I was trying so hard.

Picture 6: October 2008

I experienced a same kind of hitting when seeing this picture – a bridge again – in Stephen’s Flickr Photo Stream. That’s how my learning was throughout the second third of the CCK08 course. The speed was up. High up. This was already my sixth phase of transformative learning. I was – more or less.. – constantly able to keep the faith that the speed will slow down and a new landscape and a scenery will be revealed.

Picture 7: Beginning of November 2008

The current picture of my learning in my mind is perfectly illustrated by the Networked Teacher Diagram created by Alec Couros – I’ll continue sharing my learning with the CCK08 blogging community.


Written by Irmeli Aro

November 3, 2008 at 1:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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9 Responses

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  1. I really appreciate the creative and interpretive work you have put into this post. I love the use of visual images, too, because they somehow help to open up another part of of my brain in working toward understanding. I’ll look forward to your next posts!

    Carmen Tschofen

    November 3, 2008 at 3:31 pm

  2. What a terrific post– how to connect and the inclusion of Couros’ diagram are wonderful.



    November 3, 2008 at 3:57 pm

  3. Wow! It is late in the day here in Australia. I will be back. What a visually stunning post.

    Keith Lyons

    November 4, 2008 at 12:54 pm

  4. […] my utopian vision of CCK08 this week. Some of the posts this week were visually stunning. Irmeli’s post in particular was rich in images and discussion. (I did try to visit every Google […]

  5. I love your visual description and wait you to continue your travelling..
    Great idea to show in practice how thinking and acting are changing.. so this our study is not only writing and theory formation.
    You got me to ask myself ewahat is my transformation to a connective person or personality .. good question indeed!


    November 20, 2008 at 12:46 pm

  6. […] I plan a slideshare with photos or other pictures. I admire Irmeli´s presentation and Keith’s photo about this course. Photos speak: the bridge in fog is my […]

  7. Hi Connectirmeli, This is the comment that I left on my blog.
    Hi Viplav, Connectirmeli and Sarah,
    Many thanks for your response. I think this is really an exciting initiative for us, as revealed by your interests.
    If you agree, we will still like to see who else are interested in starting this “network or community” initiative. May be we still have to wait for a week or two to learn others’ views….
    I would suggest that we have a go ahead in the coming weeks, with an existing or new wiki or ning to start with.
    Some suggested topics could include 1. research in connectivism, 2. use of ICT (Web 2.0 tools) in K-12, vocational and community education and training, higher education, and corporate training; 3. open on-line education, and 4. interested topics in connectivism etc. 5….. etc. Please add your topics of interests
    Would you mind me posting your comments left here in the forum? This is to stimulate more interests from others so we could have more diverse inputs, and thus be democratic in such applied connectivism initiative. Agree?
    As suggested, this initiative is owned by every one interested, so your voice is important. And power to decision needs to be shared amongst “us”. I hope this is also a contribution to the community and networks.
    Your further advice and comments on (a) choice of wiki/Ning, (b) topics, (c) how you would like to have it set up etc. are welcome.
    I will leave this comment with your blog.
    John Mak


    November 28, 2008 at 11:04 am

  8. I was wondering if it is possible to subscribe to your rss feed through email.

    Josh Tomilson

    May 4, 2010 at 5:02 am

  9. Hi Josh, I added an e-mail subscription button. Thanks for notifying me that my blog missed one. I haven’t been active with this blog for a long time – but this is the place where I’ll return to write. I’m happy that there’s traffic on my site despite no new posts for a while. Talk to you again soon 🙂

    Irmeli Aro

    May 4, 2010 at 9:39 am

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