I’m planning on putting it out there for you to see and comment on soon. Who knows, maybe I’ll be brave enough today. But recently I’ve shown some of my cards and I’ve gotten a lot of wonderful feedback from some of you – enough to start forming some even bigger picture ideas about what Connected Learning is and can be.
A couple of days ago I put out a post and infographic about some of the ways Connected Learning the pedagogical framework/design principles could link to some of the work of some educational research greats – Dewey, Wenger, and Papert. To me it was a slam dunk, to others, not so much. And in the ensuring conversation I came to the exciting conclusion that Connected Learning is an exercise in connection, itself. If we are supposed to be inspiring students to make innovative connections across disciplines, domains, space, and time, should we be doing the same as we seek to describe Connected Learning? My connections won’t look like your’s and hopefully your’s won’t look like mine. I think that’s ok as long as they are logically sound. If we lock people into “one true lineage”…well, that doesn’t even make sense. And the rhizomatic flexibility of Connected Learning is what makes it different from some of the other things out there.
This links to my idea that Connected Learning as a field should continue to have “leaky boundaries.” I use that term because I use it in my draft in my description of networked learning environments. To me, networked learning environments can be characterized through their qualities of openness and distribution; openness relates to flexibility within the network and leakiness of the boundaries around it – that’s a broad statement. I go into it for several pages in my draft. Distribution relates to the dispersal across space (like affinity spaces, multiple platforms), time (networked spaces challenge academic conceptualizations of time – they are timeless – ephemeral and permanent at the same time) and domains (spheres of learning, disciplines, informal/formal, etc).
If Connected Learning is to live in networked environments, it (as a field) should embody those characteristics; as a field of educational research, design, and practice, connected learning should have the same sort of leaky boundaries that its networked learning spaces have.