Turning it off and on again

In The Internet of Things That Used To Work Better I whined about rebooting my stove. This morning I was stuck outside a hotel room waiting for “engineering” to come and reboot the door. It eventua…

Source: blog.jonudell.net

Jon Udell reminds us  of the need for having a theory of operation in our personal and our working lives.  In my work with #clmooc the last year or so, I have gotten a pretty decent grounding in connected learning theory.  The idea behind this professionally is the same one that Udell talks about in his post–you got no theory of operation you are totally dependent on technicians who “fix” stuff by turning it off and on or plugging a diagnostic tool.


Learning does not work that way.  I had an example of this in a tech academy I was working with a week ago.  Three of the participants brought with them a set of second grade texts that they wanted us to “change the batteries” on, run the diagnostics. Anyone who wants the turnkey operation in education pretty much deserves all the de-professionalism they get, but the tragedy is that their students get it, too.  Their students are screwed because their teachers have no effective theory of operation.


I don’t want to be stuck in my classrooms with the learning equivalent of a door that needs batteries.  One of my theories of operation is connected learning. The more I practice the better I will be for my students. If I internalize the theory, the values and principles, of an open, equitable, fully participatory, connected, interest driven, peer supported, purpose shared, and production centered learning universe, then I know I will never hear from someone at my door, “Have you tried turning if off and on again?”

Vialogues : Peter Gray: Play-full Research and Play Filled Emergent Paths

Play-deprivation? It is very real. Without it? Well…watch, listen, question, respond here.

 Source: vialogues.com

Here is a classic example of the impossibility of predicting/managing complexity:

1. I joined in a Google Hangout On Air last night (https://t.co/swsLVirIDW) for #clmooc.

2. I met Carol Hartmann (@StaffSandboxOER) at the Hangout because she, excellent librarian that she is, was interested in annotation tools.

3. I shared the Peter Gray vid on Vialogues above with her.

4. She jumped on it first thing and also mentionedin our discussion at Vialogues about her curation via Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/staffsandbox/).

5. Wow! Such a bounty and that is high praise coming from this humble gardener.  I felt I had to reciprocate as best I could for such a full Pinterest buffet with my own again/off again Scoop.it site that curates #clmooc related riches  (http://www.scoop.it/t/clmooc).

6. That prodded me into kick starting my curating activities there.

7. Just a little later I had a Google Hangout with Joe Dillon about Week Three Make Cycle ideas and I was able to use what I had saved to Scoop.it (and hence automagically to my blog, my tumblr, Twitter, and facebook) in our conversation.

8. This led to this where I will continue by crossposting to G+, Twitter, and Facebook and here we are, emerging from yet another hole, perhaps one where we have had nice tea and late breakfast with Badger and Ratty and Mole and Toad.

It might seem like a very ordered and billiard-ball-like experience where one cause leads to another effect and thence to another cause etcetcetc.  But it isn’t inevitable like that at all.  Complexity says we can describe what happened after the fact easily, but we couldn’t have predicted it at the beginning of the cascade.  In fact, if iI join another Google Hangout and meet up with Carol again, there is every chance that we would emerge from a different rabbit hole. As the good Greek Heraclitus reminds us, difficult edu-punk that he is,

“No one ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and it’s not the same one.”

I like that very much.  Affordances, adjacent possibles, however you will describe it, I am very grateful.

Your Brain on Nature: Forest Bathing and Reduced Stress

Studies show shinrin-yoku, also known as forest bathing or time spent in green spaces, can reduce the stress hormone cortisol and increase your immune defense system.

Source: www.motherearthnews.com

What does work like this suggest about digital spaces?  My mom always kicked me out of the house when I had been playing inside too much.  Do we need to strongly suggest that folks get out and play?  Is there any way to re-create the effect of nature in digital spaces?  Screensavers that engage after so many minutes with high rez pics of nature?  Or in the act of doing ‘learning walks’, of going outside and getting our dose of nature and recording that walk, that we gain even more good.  I don’t know, but maybe we should all have that voice in your head that says, "Get down. Get out and play." 


BTW, my mother was a whiz at going outside and playing with us:  marbles, baseball, basketball, kites, mumbledypeg (a freaking knife game and she was scary good).  The purest athlete I have ever known.