I enjoyed reading George Siemens “teaching as transparent learning“. I think it touches on the ‘work at learning, learning at work’ carnival theme Dave Ferguson initially started and that Dave Wilkins, hosting the carnival this month, expanded on describing it as ‘the intersection between work and learning.‘
George writes about his experience as a transparent learner – ‘expressing half-formed ideas’ and receiving feedback. He says:
Putting ideas out for discussion contrasts with formal “reach a conclusion and publish” model.
I wish I would’ve read that before I responded (and apologized) for my prior rant (directed at Saul Carliner) in response to an article he wrote for eLearn Magazine. Shame on me. I hate the regret that follows a rant. (Don’t read it though because it lacks punctuation due to a copy/paste malfunction and reads like one giant incoherent run-on sentence. And that makes me want to climb a mountain and scream because I can’t fix it.) And… just so you know, the reason I copy/paste a long response on that particular magazine is that their comment box is teeny tiny and I can’t see what I’m writing. Lesson learned, I won’t be writing anything long over there which is good news for anyone reading their great articles. End of digression.
Anyway, the crux of my position is that blogging for work and blogging for personal learning do intersect and that means you should expect half-formed ideas. See, the eLearn article Mr. Sarliner wrote took issue with the erroneous, unverified information found on blogs. You will find opinion and unverified information on this blog. And I won’t start all posts with a ‘this is opinion’ or ‘this is fact’ statement. It’s all my opinion. My interpretation. My reflecting. I would expect you to filter and form your own opinions (and hopefully mine) on the information read. If I didn’t let learning and work overlap here, you’d see either marketing copy and quotes from others with no reflection or the equivalent of peer-reviewed journal articles (which have their own place in academic journals).
Back to teaching as transparent learning…George gives an example of how his thinking has evolved by pointing to abandoned views. I think that very idea keeps some people from expressing opinions and ideas. I suspect some lurkers don’t make the jump to commenting or publishing because they don’t want to put ideas or opinions ‘out there’ that may be half-formed. George names some transparent learners – and I’m humbled that he named me – as examples of how watching others learn is an act of learning.
I’ve certainly learn from watching others learn. What I’m actually studying now is something like that…I’ll be studying how people ‘learn to be’ kind of within what John Seely Brown call distributed learning milieus (specifically around microlearning/microcontent). Talk about half- baked. Here’s the quote from Brown that I like:
Learning occurs in part through a form of reflective practicum, but in this case the reflection comes from being embedded in a social milieu supported by both a physical and virtual presence, and by both the amateur and the professional practitioner.
I’m interested in thinking deeper about what George wrote on the notion of lurking and communities of practice research specifically as it relates to Lave & Wenger’s theory of legitimate peripheral participation. Thanks for that George. Always great to learn from you : )
I’ll close this out something else George said,
My work on blogs, articles, handbooks, and so on is an invitation to engage in conversation, not a proclamation of what I absolutely know.
I think I’ll borrow that and put it on my about page. It can be my disclaimer.