Learning is togetherness


In the Open Networked Learning course, I have learned to understand and appreciate the social aspects of learning, the need for building networks and communities around what people learn or teach. I have always been part of various groups, both online and IRL, for fun, for help with solving practical problems, for achieving tasks that no one can do on his own and sometimes for making the world a better place, but I haven’t connected it to so much to learning before. That also means that I got an understanding that just making the lectures on zoom or record them isn’t by far enough to make a proper online course. You have to facilitate networking and social interaction even more in an online context.


I already use a forum in one course and found it even more used and useful in an online context, but I will probably expand further on that, maybe make some exercises more group oriented.  


Digital literacy

But from the beginning we were discussing digital literacy. Smashing the Natives – Immigrants dichotomy makes sense out of my experience. I myself met digital technology at an age of about 25. After that I have spent much of my working life and some of my spare time teaching and helping younger people handle digital stuff. During the course I have been more convinced that many “digital” skills are not so uniquely digital. Social skills, writing, drawing, explaining, talking, acting, storytelling in pictures or movies are ancient “analog” skills becoming even more important in a digital context.


Open Educational Resources

I have also learned that some teachers are sceptical to making their learning resources open. As an open-source advocate, I think this is sad. At least in Sweden the material is made with taxpayers’ money and should in a much higher degree be available to the taxpayers. Much of my stuff is available on the local Kaltura instance ( for what I do at work and YouTube, Instagram etc for the private works.


To do list

In IRL contexts I will make more movies instead of lecturing and save the precious time together for more interactive discussions and also practical training.


In my IT-support role I already have begun recommending opening Zoom-rooms 15 min before the actual lecture or meeting begins and welcome all participants. That gives time for “sound check” and technical problem-solving and hopefully also for some social chat or some questions. The actual lecture or meeting can start at the scheduled time, sharp.

I will add to this list and maybe fail some more …


Lessons Learnt and Future Practice (Topic 5)

Throughout the past four topics, I have journeyed from personal digital identity to online community in the context of education. As I was journeying from one topic to another, a few questions came to mind and now I have a chance to formulate them. I particularly put a lot of thoughts on these questions: Does […]

Design for Blended Learning

Although I have heard about blended learning (Cleveland-Innes & Wilton, 2018) for some years now, I have not been enthusiastic in applying it. To be clear, I value the benefit of using online platform to enhance learning. I have been practicing it, too. I have put my teaching materials online, I have posted the learning […]

Poor peer pressure

The more we were discussing about collaborative online learning, the more we came back to group formations setting the tone. Obviously, assignment structures and formations set the tone as well – esp. how clear and relevant they are (Brindley et al., 2009), but let’s keep it to the group for now. How people learn in […]

Educational tools, tools, tools on my mind

There are so many tools out there that all supposedly support education that it’s mind-blowing. There is seemingly even a mind-map of mind-mapping tools! Fascinating! There are way too many that one could account for, let alone keep up with. Throughout the ONL course we are experimenting with quite a few, and while that’s perhaps […]


Why am I writing this?

-The Ultimate Question of Life, The University, and Everything   Why do students deliver their awesome work? Why do scientists explore and publish? Why do people do Ironman or climb mountains? Why do people create poems, music, craft and art…

Learning in Communities

I recently saw a documentary “A Life on Our Planet” narrated by David Attenborough (Hughes, Scholey, & Fothergill, 2020). In it, he put forth a notion that unlike other flora and fauna, humans do not need physical change in their bodies to create changes to the world around them. Humans can do that, but humans […]

The value of meetings

By now probably everyone understands what is meant by “zoom fatigue” (and how to combat it), yet taking a course has made me find some re-appreciation for synchronous, even virtual, meetings. It makes such a difference to be able to talk to one’s group and not just work on the same project! Peer pressure, group […]