Mount Keilir in Iceland with volcanic cloud in background

Viewed from 30 km away you can see the smoke coming up from a volcano erupting close to the village of Grindavík in south western Iceland.

This eruption has been going on for about two weeks. But we have had eruptions in this area regularly during the last three years. What has this got to do with our third topic. Learning in communities? Well to begin with social learning is probably the way people have learned for the whole of human history, it is humanities oldest way to learn. In Iceland where ever you go you will probably be going through an old lavavfield, be it like the 1000 year old lava fields close to my home, or others which can be up to 10000 years old (before that Iceland was covered with Ice… so you would not get lavefields as a result of volcanic eruptions. And now Icelanders are experiencing something new – eruptions close to home. Most eruptions in the past have been far from human habitation.

The first eruption in this series, started in Fagradalsfjall in March 2021, and because it was small and relatively accessible it soon became a tourist attraction and a gathering place for locals. Donal Boyd, an American photographer and wildlife conservationist captured the social feeling that was created by the incredible mix of location, size of the event and peoples reactions to it and to one another. This event showed me how we ravel in our connections to other people and manage to create incredible connections in amazing situations.

So while we are experiencing geological events that connect us to the beginnings of our earth and of life on earth, we are reminded of the deep roots of social connections in our human legacy and how deep social learning lies embedded in human nature. At the same time as we are experiencing an exodus from the classroom we hear calls for more human connections both from students and teachers at the same time.

We will be studying why we should create collaborative learning experiences in our online courses and how we can do that.

Before you start reading it could be useful for you to reflect on your experiences of social and collaborative learning and how you have experienced engaging learning communities. In this course you have already experience one aspect – or a few – of collaborative online learning, you could also reflect on how that manifests itself and how you experience it yourself. Before we meet on the webinar, you will benefit from reading or at least scanning the three main readings for the topic

Social and collaborative learning in an open culture…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *