Comment on My first teaching machine by Gail Lofdahl

We, too, had a Cyclo-Teacher; I remember it was interesting enough for the subjects that actually interested me, like history or English. It didn’t do much to improve my math skills, however, which is why I suspect my parents actually bought it.
However, one experience did more for me than all the attempts to educate me up to that point. It was the last week of seventh grade, and all my work was complete. My social studies teacher asked me, “Is there something you’ve always wanted to know about?” “The pyramids,” I replied. And with library pass in hand, off I went to do my own research instead of waiting to have the information poured into my head as if it were an empty vessel. A revelation! I didn’t have to WAIT until SOMEONE ELSE educated me; I could do it myself. Wow! I can remember many afternoons spent in the card catalog as I hopped from one interconnected subject to another. I still do it on that great teaching tool we call the Internet. And I will be forever in debt to my teacher, who put the responsibility for learning where it belongs–squarely in the student’s lap!

Comment on An end to the beginning: Open Learning ’17 by Amy Nelson

Thank you for this preliminary write-up, Gardner. I share your sense that it’s still too early for me to reflect on the #openlearning17 experience as a whole. Some of the nodes of friction and discovery are obvious to me. But I will need time to digest and develop some perspective on the experience. (This reminds me of a concern I also routinely raise about assessment. We focus so much effort on “measuring” change/ gains at the end of the semester, when the longer term and continuing learning is more significant (IMO anyway)). I found a sentence from your Lichtenberg quote from the previous post especially resonant here: “What we have to discover for ourselves leaves behind in our mind a pathway that can also be used on another occasion.”

And speaking of Lichtenberg. Thank you for introducing me to him! Must add the scrap books to my reading list. Also, reading these last two posts reminded me to put in a plug for Andrea Wulf’s biography of Humboldt: (https://www.amazon.com/Invention-Nature-Alexander-Humboldts-World/dp/0345806298/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=X8DF7FFWC6NHBM29CN7K). Humboldt’s passion for discovery and recognition of how interconnected humans are with nature — his vision of ecology and networks — is really thrilling. He was certainly an Open Learner in every sense of the word.
Finally, I do look forward to reading more about your design vision for our cMOOC. When it’s time. Thanks again for being such a fabulous hub creator and director!