Saturday, February 8, 2014

books&other—Diigo does #rhizo14, Wk4

 …w/ nod to #evomlit, #FutureEd—now #POTcert as well, not just because I am in them but for seeing them as related, entangled with Rhizomatic Learning, part of the community, along with once and future others. I'm still behind, albeit less here than in the others. Bookmark links though are catching up (note irony of bookmarks about "is books making us stupid" theme). There are links on books, words, writing, tyranny of received print cultureand so on, as well as still a few uncertainty links. Like I mentioned in last week's fake post: so what, rhizomes aren't linear. 

This venue feels like an alternative space, a basement dive or Jazz Keller that only a few habitues know how to find. Frequently, the Fb (so much larger and more active) group's thread return to 'what about lurkers' (elearning's version of Freud on women). Someone commented that 'doing nothing is doings something' (not unlike classic anarchist saying about voting). That is encouraging... makes me feel so much more productive well as wondering about the need to feel productive. Somehow it calls to mind John Keats' letter 'On Negative Capability' (analogous to embracing uncertainty?) and the call to productivity as an 'irritable reaching after fact and reason.' How would that go to curriculum? Can scholars of the books and singers of the word read one another-- speak with one another, be part of the same community?
  • Oral Tradition Founded in 1986, the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition stands as a national and international focus for interdisciplinary research and scholarship on the world’s oral traditions. Our long-term mission is to facilitate communication across disciplinary boundaries by creating linkages among specialists in different fields. Through our various activities we try to foster conversations and exchanges about oral tradition that would not otherwise take place. 
Tags: rhizo14, oral tradition, Week4, books, print culture, rhizome, CSOT CSOT publications include the journal Oral Tradition (, 1986-) and three series of books: the Albert Bates Lord Studies in Oral Tradition (1987-96; 17 volumes); Voices in Performance and Text (1995-97; 3 volumes); and, Poetics of Orality and Literacy (2 volumes to date; 2004-). CSOT projects include: ISSOT, International Society for Studies in Oral Tradition,, and The Pathways Project,

  • Stephen Downes' comments in OLDaily, Feb. 7 Is books making us stupid? behind the curtain of #rhizo14 Dave Cormier, Dave's Educational Blog, February 6, 2014 This post actually provides a good overview of the first few weeks of the Rhizomatic Learning course, exploring as it does a set of "challenges" posed by Dave Cormier: Cheating as learning Enforcing independence Embracing uncertainty Is books making us stupid I can certainly be frustrated by some of this sort of discussion - when people express concerns, for example, about "enforcing independence" my reaction is that they just don't know what those words mean. And in another post I've raised some questions about some of the more nebulous aspects of this approach to learning. But I see value in these discussions. And questioning the authority of the book is certainly something I support.
    • every time you read it,
    • it’s also about the making of the fire, the way the young ones distribute themselves around the circle, with maybe the older ones sitting right and left of the tribe elder, it’s what they eat or drink during the gathering, it’s what they wear, and maybe, most importantly, it’s the coarse voice of their elder, telling them their own story almost musically, the tempo of the words, one after the other, and the curious questions that the young ones might ask, generating an increased understanding of their tribal identity, of their unity as a group – a network of people.
  • Stephen Downes's comment in OLDaily, Feb. 7 Questions about rhizomatic learning Jenny Mackness, February 6, 2014 At a certain point, perfectly good theories become nonsense. This may be that point. I am sympathetic with the list of questions Jenny Mackness poses to Keith Hamon about rhizomatic learning (a concept I'm increasingly questioning). For example: "I’m not sure that I would know how to distinguish a 'rhizomatic learner' from other learners." And "‘A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo.’" Strictly speaking, this is false of rhizomes (unless you're talking of the specific connection between plant and plant, in which case, one wonders how it is different from any other connection (and wonder why it can't have a middle)). I've commented to Dave Cormier (who seems to have a better handle on this) about this in the past: a rhizome network is a mesh, which is good, but there's no openness, no diversity, not really even any autonomy. And you mix that in with (quite frankly) silly statements from Deleuze and Guattari (like: "‘State space is ‘striated’ or griddled") you get something that really begins to lack coherence. I've long complained of continental philosophers that when they don't understand something, they just make stuff up. There's too much of that in educational theory too.
  • Downes's comments in OLDaily, Feb 7: The medium is the message? Jaap Bosman, Hit the balloon, comment, February 6, 2014 Icon "Language needs a medium," said Jaap Bosman. By contrast, to me, language is a medium. "Learning depends on language, the medium (books, blogs) of the language restricts or benefits the learning," he writes. To me, language is only one of the many media we could use to support learning. Becominbg literate in the 21st century means recognizing that literacy applies far beyond language; it's a way of understanding the world.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of Rhizome14 group favorite links are here.

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