I made a Brain Map of sorts from some of my learning experiences over the last 40+ years (gasp!). I'm trying to visualize my connections with earlier key education communities and ideas, and with some of the current #ccourses facilitators.
The ongoing and evolving connections being made among the leaders and participating communities are and will be fascinating. Over the years I’ve met the majority of the #ccourses facilitators in person, and several more online. These folks are highlighted in the map.
Alan Levine is my earliest connection to the course facilitators. We met in the early 1990s, before the World Wide Web. The only html I ever learned was in Alan’s class. We both left MCCD the same year (2006), and then reconnected as avatars at a virtual conference in 2007. At Educause around the same time, he introduced me to Gardner Campbell and Bryan Alexander. And Twitter. I became acquainted Michael Wesch and his work around that same time. Another formative experience was #CCK08. More about that in a future post.
I started blogging at HASTAC during what I think was the very first DML competition way back in 2007. While reading some of Cathy Davidson’s posts, I suddenly realized that HASTAC’s Cathy was the same person who wrote a book I read (and loved) way back in the early 1990s. The book was 36 Views of Mt. Fuji, and I was still recommending it to friends over 15 years later. So I wrote about that. With the considerable frenzy around the new DML initiative, my post got a ton of views. Cathy encouraged me, and I kept on posting for awhile.
My blogging career waned, but I’ve kept in touch with HASTAC. I became a DML reviewer for a few years and attended some of the HASTAC and DML conferences. I love interdisciplinary communities.
Another blast from the past came late in 2007 at my first NMC (New Media Consortium) conference in the virtual world of Second Life. Howard Rheingold was the lead-off speaker. I had almost forgotten about reading his book “The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier” at the dawn of the public internet and shortly after I got my first email address -> dorland@gc
. You can find the whole text of that book on Howard’s website. Fascinating history. (http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/intro.html
Howard in SL (note Alan Levine as the dog in the front row)
My early history with open communities began during my college years at Kansas State. The Free University movement of the late ‘60s/early ‘70s was the initial disruption that changed my thinking about the nature of education. Ours was called UFM - University for Man. (http://tryufm.org/aboutufm.htm#history
Some items from my Brain Map:
Johnson & Johnson’s books on cooperative and/or collaborative learning (80s/90s), the famous Barr & Tagg article in Change, Vol. 27, No. 6. (1995) (http://www.jstor.org/stable/40165284
), my participation in interdisciplinary faculty learning communities, my time at the National Science Foundation in 2003-04 and my connections with PCAL (Project Kaleidoscope), NMC (New Media Consortium), Educause, and HASTAC.
All of these continue to challenge my thinking about the nature and purpose of education.
My most important conclusion so far: searching for “the right way” or even “the best way” to do education is probably the worst thing we can do. I’m not looking for #ccourses to provide any final answers, but I do expect to enjoy the ride.