The ability to engage learners with real purpose is now more plausible than ever before.
The privilege of exploring how so was afforded me by Don Perrin at the TALO Swap / Meet 2005 held in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia. We engaged in dialogue which gave me his opinion on that which he considers to be a more important concept than teaching ability itself – coined as the influence of the ‘learning architect’.
Don stated ( I understood Don to say ) that the critical inquisition of the structures within which contemporary communication technologies enable global learning is of greater benefit to a learning community than enthusiastically embracing the freedom of communication it purports to enable. The very idea that communication technology is a virtual networked idea only and that true communication form only follows the functional application of the technology is very compelling and refreshing take on ICT.
I have often reflected on the power of the virtual P-2-P socio-pedia (SMS) and the onset of the educationalist avatar (mobcast) however taking Don’s ideas on board had given me new hope. What Don proposes as a differing descriptor for educator’s points to the infancy of mobile communication as globally enabled learning device. I feel I now have a lifetime left to realize my dreams of making learning projects a globally connected virtual expectation as opposed to a random, hope driven static foray into corporate consumer enterprise.
The majority of the conversation with Don then progressed to include how distinct boundaries need demolishing every time a new communication technology is enabled, with ninety percent of the effort in engaging each other lost to pointless codified technology translation – geek speak. I asked more questions and received more pictures – learning experiences enabled live-time by learning architects as opposed to learning facilitators milling masses to the beat of technology.
As an architect seeks to realize a clients dream and then shape space to fit time, the same applies to educators, teachers and control enthusiasts who negotiate the uptake for learning with their respective cohorts. Change results in conceptual retakes. Eventually with teams of trades’ specialists ready to flesh out the building, the learning architect unfurls the plans which enable each element of the jigsaw to fuse seamlessly.
Facilitation became a mere fallacy.
Clarification as to how to better understand these ideas within what I do as an educator, a connectivist virgin and as an inter-dependent critical thinker remains
central to my association with TALO. I’m not about to change my calling card. I’m simply seeking solutions.
The nature of my interest and association with this group of like-minded individuals primarily focus on how to fuse constructivist with connectivist, in a time of post-post-modernist. The role of relational aesthetics in education has also been raised a notch by my foray into the TALO web group. I’m now trawling back through bookmarks from years of debt propelled tertiary institutional knowledge rehash and making them available for others to arm themselves with knowledge free of the tertiary HECS debt.
With the proliferation of open source and readily accessible technologies ripe for the picking I have always sought ways to connect my learners to experiential learning, finding enabling and connected ways to describe, track or access each learner’s journey as opposed to claiming leadership of the learning journey.
On several occasions this year I have conferred with Leigh Blackall, TALO founder and Swap /Meet 2005 organizer who has challenged me and other seasoned educators to take up elements of networked inter-operables like wikis and blogs pitting passion against hierarchy, seeking to further demystifying the learners journey. Pointing at what does and does not work for his learners has revealed for me that Leigh’s approach to unraveling learning code is firmly parallel to my own principles for ingesting the change known as Web 2.0.
I don’t always agree but I endeavor to make that known.
Taking things off line where possible and enabling mobile learning has by far formed the learning architecture which I now continue to seek to employ. The gadgetry is no more than a mobile computer. Anne Paterson, colleague and friend keeps reminding me of that point. With a brood of teenagers avidly inter- connected via synchronous chat we both try to understand better the way that makes it all tick. Online – offline – sideline.
Blog your thoughts and aggregate these to affect change within organizational structure? Transmit social metadata live to the web as it occurs and preface this with interconnected links to other projects happening simultaneously?
TALO2006 promises nothing to me unless I can get my head around audio mark making, wiki-versity, connectivist vs. constructivist and any number of things that Steven, Stephan, Maria, Anne, Kylie, Don and the others swamped my head with.
Seems silly that the rest of the world will have to wait till we surface in Hong Kong complete with others to form an international consortium. Till then check
our asynchronous web spaces or ping our mobile devices to interact with you.
Learning Architects – seems fitting and appropriate.
It was either this or go all out and get to the Mobilearn Conference 2005 in Johannesburg.
I’m glad I attended TALO2005.
I’d better go and check how Marcus Ragus is holding up on his mobile safari at
Alex Hayes October 2006