Choppy Connections

not only learn about the world, but learn with the world.- Julie Lindsay

I’ve heard about (and been lucky enough to have seen her present at Learning 2.0) the amazing work that Julie Lindsay does with Flat Classrooms and Flat Connections again and again.  There’s a good reason her name comes up: flat connections are actually choppy connections.

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Choppy connections are those strong wavelike ideas that keep inviting us to get our feet wet.  One of the principles of connectivism (George Siemens)

is:

Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.

This means that teachers today need to get comfortable with two things:

a) empowering our students to make decisions freely

b) what we think we know to be true is more flexible today than ever before

In Julie Lindsay’s Learning 2.012 talk you’ll catch her quickly say at the start that she took her talk on a new direction as late as the night before she delivered it.

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She goes on to discuss the value of being a jazz musician.  Being a teacher today means you need to embrace your inner Dave Brubeck.

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Tools will come and go-Julie Lindsay

Lindsay’s talk goes on to showcase how connected we can be, if we dismiss the nay-sayers.  If we push through the challenges, great things can happen in our schools.

One of the three take-aways from this amazing talk is that we must

Be open to alternatives.

When George Siemens discusses connectivism he says:  “Connectivism presents a model of learning that acknowledges the tectonic shifts in society where learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity. ”  Who better to be a lighthouse in the sea of connectivism that leaders like Lindsay?

You can learn more about her Flat Connections here.

This is my mini shout out to you, Julie Lindsay.  As soon as this week in COETAIL referenced connectivism, I thought of you.

How lucky we are, teachers today–to have such distant shores be a few clicks away?  How fortunate to educate in an era where the current is strong with leaders, fishing for early adopters?

My hat goes off to the pioneers who haven’t been afraid of being pulled out to sea.  Before my metaphors get too tired …

I’d like to leave you with a passage from Edsurge’s thoughts on connectivism in our classrooms:

“The point of professional development should be in helping human beings–who in this case happen to be educators–become more fully engaged and connected with their peers and fellow professionals. The goal should be helping them to develop the profession themselves.” (continue reading here).

My school is hosting two days of professional development in a week.  Which waves should I be pushing into as a workshop presenter?