Looping learning and lanterns

I love the feeling of coming to the end of a course. To let a sense of accomplishment (hopefully) fill up my thoughts while I look back at my own efforts. It is for me the time to sit back and relax and allow myself a pat on the shoulder for learning something. The loop of reflection is also the part where my creative part of the brain starts working for real, and I can connect the new knowledge with the old to improve my practices and decide next steps. So, what has been the lamp of learning for me? How can I attract the other cats to gather around the light, without feeding them treats?

By Takashi(aes256) (Cat Café on Flickr) CC-BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3A12_cats_eating_together_around_a_centrally_placed_lamp_in_cat_cafe.jpg
First and foremost, I think it is inevitable to learn something. There is a new lesson learned everyday on different things in your life. Our brain will pick up on new things without any deliberate effort from us, or at least not a conscious one.

As a digital resident, I thought that I already knew quite a lot about online collaboration and learning, and I thought I knew a lot about openness and education. However, it turned out that I had so much more to learn! For example, my wonderful working group PBL 8, they taught me something new about daring tor try new things. new tools. I discovered that I had become rather lazy in trying to find new ways of catching peoples eye when I wanted to tell a story. Tools like Moovly and Prezi have been things that I've heard of, but where I rather chose to stick to the software I was already working with, even if they were not easier to manage in any way. Life-long learning got a new meaning to me during this course. It was also evident that I had to scrutinise my own personal epistemology to know more about what I didn't know to understand what I needed to know.

I also learned that I have limits. Working full time, writing a master's thesis and taking care of an animal, myself and my relationships with other humans are not really compatible with taking an extra-curricular course that you can't fit into your work schedule. You will not get the most out of yourself nor the course material or the opportunity of learning among friends. I could have done much better catching up with meetings and conversations to meet with my fellow course attendees to learn from their perspectives as well. Nevertheless, I'm still proud that I could be a part of my working group, and thankful that I was allowed to join them and was accepted for who I am. Learning is also something complex that requires effort and structure, you can't just lead the kitten to a keyboard and expect them to start to type, you first have to teach them the meaning of the letters on the keys. It seems like I have some distance still to go before I can learn how to I should be hearding cats of the diverse community of learning we host at the library.

By Mr Thinktank from Shanghai, China (SDC19305  Uploaded by JohnnyMrNinja) CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AKitten_Laptop.jpg

The ONL course will definitely help me improve my teaching practices moving forward. I need to become better att planning for different types of learners, regardless if they are digital residents or visitors. I also should integrate the various modes of learning better, to take advantage of the blended learning opportunities. This is especially important if I want to live as I teach. I will start by sharing the outcome of the course with my colleagues, and they will hopefully join the class next semester. Because I don't think I alone should keep this knowledge to myself. If we want to be a part of the open learning society, which I believe is upon us whether we like it or not. There should be tools available for us to collect enough confidence to drive development in this strategic direction. We are all contributing to the context we are acting in, which means that the awareness of our own position is important for everyone involved in the process. We need to formalise our learning and reflective loops, and then follow the lantern that guides us away from the dangerous reefs of self-doubt, being afraid of change and misunderstandings when trying to communcicate about the direction in which we are all moving.

The end of this blog session also calls for proper acknowledgements. Thanks to Ulf for inviting me to join the course, thanks to the facilitators and creators of the course, thanks to PBL 8 for being so lovely, and thanks to internet for making our lives complex enough to keep us curious like kittens while exploring the universe of digital information. If you want to follow my journey, stay tuned for more blogging (and cat pictures). 👏🏼 👋🏼


  1. It's nice to read your, should I say, final thoughts about the course. Juggling the schedules of so many activities is difficult, and I'm glad you managed well with the juggling. It was a pleasure getting to know you and all the other members too in PBL8. Yes, share your experience with your colleagues and get them to join ONL too.
    Good luck with your thesis. And let's keep in touch.


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