I’ve been fortunate to join and work with a great group in the open online course called Open Networked Learning (ONL). We are joining from Brazil, Finland, Germany, South Africa, Sweden and the US. Some are Open Learners; others have university affiliations.
For the past two weeks, my ONL group (the Eleveners) has been exploring Online Participation and Digital Literacies. We began our focus by generating questions of interest in a shared document and then narrowing down to what pushed us to dig deeper.
When we came together and shared our collective learning we used Padlet to compile our questions and findings, and then summarized key points. It felt exciting and satisfying to see our inquiry come to life on the Padlet and emerge as something new – like a fabric created by the group from individual threads of inquiry; the threads are strong and vibrant.
Working with this group helped me see how my work as a student (learner) and collaborator with this ONL group are deeply tied. My colleague Anya and I investigated how to make the learning environment welcoming and open to new students and researched strategies that build this. When we met and talked about what we’d learned and how to represent it to the rest of the group and their findings she helped me realize that my experience as a student (providing required weekly feedback to my professor on positive and challenging elements of the course) connects with learning on the ONL group. She also helped me notice that this is an especially rich and valuable type of metacognition that occurs when a student researches and reflects how to create a safe and open environment and finds real time, real life examples at hand.