Friday, 9 December 2011

Falling at the first hurdle - ubiquitous sage on the side not for me

This week's topic on Slow Learning for the #change11 MOOC had me fall at the first hurdle. Clark Quinn's introductory post asked the following question: "What would my ideal learning situation be?"
He replied by saying it would be having a personal learning mentor with him, prompting support at the right moment and developing him slowly over time. He thus develops the concept of an automatic "sage on the side" to prompt, guide and thus produce learning.
Listening to the subsequent live session and participating in the final session was useful to have an understanding of this, the idea of drip irrigation as opposed to flooding and the value of formal and informal learning for novices, practitioners and experts. This slide is worth repeating:

His statement that learning gets better when we work with more people can be true and I liked the idea of the big L in Learning - learning which is more through problem solving, innovation, research and creativity.
But I would not use his learning GPS system (nor do I generally use a real GPS system - I prefer to use it only when necessary in very new and difficult circumstances).
I do not think that a personal learning mentor would be my ideal learning situation. The point of open is just that - open to wherever I want to go, not someone or something else to control.
I have just seen the following video, produced by Corning Glass and called a Day Made of Glass. It is both inspiring and worrying. Could I work with ubiquitous in-your-face technology?
The constant prodding of a sage on the side would worry me because of both this intrusion as well as manipulation - "stealth mentoring" as Carole McCulloch puts it in her post. I want to be totally in charge of my learning and I am not sure that even a human mentor is what I need.

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