Sui Fai John Mak responded to one of my previous posts and called it wonderful. I interpreted his comment to be empty politeness, he comes from a always-friendly-and polite culture. John answered and I have to apologize, he had arguments for his saying, he had read my post and knew the content.
The following question was about staying or leaving online or networked learning and John wrote a new post about it. He received many comments. The first comment was Ken Anderson’s ‘always that same theme, it arouses again and again’ and then
“People are attracted to MOOCs for the novelty effect, then leave when the novelty wears off.” And John: “Love you hypothesis, and couldn’t agree more! Should I say goodbye when the novelty wears off? Sure!”
There are many comments dealing with technology, some psychological factors (my main purpose) and implementing MOOCs.
By reading this discussion thread I became conscious about another basis of misunderstandings. When I say that I want to handle psychological factors around learning (for example MOOCs), I mean special phenomena, not what ever. John told about his spontaneous quick writing that it is normal conversation to him. Consciousness-stream, is that concept understandable in English? It comes from literature but could suit here, perhaps. Carmen Tshofen referred to Downes’ vision in her post:
“The next three generations of web and learning technology will be based on the idea of flow… Flow is when we cease to think of things like contents and communications and even people and environments as things and start thinking of them as (for lack of a better word) media – like the water in a river, like the electricity in our pipes, like the air in the sky.”
Flow in this definition means some kind conscious-stream, I suppose. So I could say that John is much better in this flow thing. I am too serious and always need same scientific concepts to link the actions. Now I am speaking about the misunderstanding which can be explained from diversity in education. I have studies psychology, John engineering. Between us are all 🙂 possible differences: if we can understand each other, it is great. How understanding becomes true?
This is a point where I really appreciate John Mak. He is never defensive, he does not get hurt, he is strong enough to ask more details if he feels that something is unclear. This has happened many times and I enjoy it. This is also one of the main results of the article of Jenny and Carmen which I studied in my previous posts. Healthy participation of autonomous people expressing themselves openly and freely. It is the key of psychological factors (or one of the keys). The problem which is difficult to solve here is privacy demand – ethical questions while participants broke or spoil discussions (often unconsciously, not knowing their impact). I can appreciate John in public but I cannot claim anybody, only assess my own mistakes. Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen.
Psychological knowledge cannot be placed in Wikipedia, it needs certain thinking habits and open mind in deeper sense than copy-paste flows. These undermining differences rise to surface in discussions and often leave without confrontation. Someone tweeted some minutes ago that Twitter is good because nobody follows a troll. That is a simple solution.
Another end of this dimension (ego-centrism) could be so called ‘teflon surface people’ – nothing touches them, they participate neatly saying nothing original ever. I have empy-small-talk feelings near those people, I want to shake them. When I shake John, he answers peacefully and the discussion continues 🙂
How to use psychological knowledge is very complex and so are many expert domains. This is a mess. I’ve to go out and walk.