Social learning in an onlife splace

What is collaborative learning in comparison to group work? What differs a community from a network? Should I focus on the process or the outcome?

We have come (a little bit more than) halfway through the course ONL212 and I have come to realize that I tend to get stuck in definitions, structure and end product. I am a very structured person (very is an understatement – I am an extremely structured person) and my colleague even once said: “Where Charlotta walks/passes by, structure and organization appear.” I do not know if this is a compliment, but I choose to see it as one.

Structure and goals are also something we struggle with as a group in our PBL-group. What is the purpose of the course? What do they want us to achieve? What is the learning outcome? But that is probably the whole purpose, to try to figure out what to focus on? Or how we can find collaborative strategies? And forming our own tasks and results.

Can you teach an old dog to sit? That’s how I felt yesterday in our PBL-meeting when we started discussing the different concepts brought up by Kay Oddone in her YouTube videos (Part 1 and Part 2) as well as in the Webinar. I got stuck on the difference between a community and a network. Where being an educator in the field of business, the definition of a network is that it has strong (and weak) ties, a goal to create long term relationships, sharing knowledge, making investments and creating some kind of dependence in the relationships – No Business is an Island. Whereas in this context, we are in now, that is more the definition of a community. For me a community is something loose, open and not necessarily a “splace” where you share common goals (e.g. Facebook or other social media communities). So how can I change my basic beliefs?

I realize that I need to change the strategy towards collaborative, loose, PBL-learning communities. I need to challenge myself and move away from my structured mindset (not closed – see previous blog) and just go with the flow. Hence the title of this blog “Loafing or committing”? Going with the flow doesn’t necessarily mean loafing. I have decided to call myself a “committed loafer” i.e. I will not insist on structure or outcome instead I will commit to and accept what is happening in the process.

The subheading of this blog Social learning in an onlife splace, was defined after another webinar I attended yesterday with the theme “Room for Learning – Hybrid Learning Environments“. Where a presenter from Germany (Dr. Katja Ninnermann from Technische Hochschule, Berlin) introduced the concept of Onlife – “We are neither online nor offline, but onlife” (a quite from Luciano Floridi, Oxford Internet Institute). I found that very interesting and she stressed the importance being aware of culture, place and process in the onlife spaces. This context of space, place, onlife is also something we can relate back to topic 1 and the discussions about being digitally literate or where on the scale between visitors and residents are we?

The combination of online and offline leading to onlife is also a proof that the creation of our PBL group’s name SPLACE is relevant and somehow summarizes the blurriness and fuzziness of online collaborative learning environments being spaces and places at the same time.

Floridi, Luciano: Onlife and Being Human in a Hyperconnected Era: what Utopia?

Hybrid Learning Environments (link to event, where presentations should come out eventually)

Håkansson, H., & Snehota, I. (1989). No business is an island: The network concept of business strategy. Scandinavian journal of management, 5(3), 187-200.

Ninnerman, Katja – Technische Hochschule Berlin

PLNs Theory and Practice by Kay Oddone, part 1.
PLNs Theory and Practice by Kay Oddone, part 2.

Loafing or Committing?