On April 15 a new iteration of the Rhizomatic Learning course I took last year starts. Sign ups are here: http://rhizomatic.net/2015/04/03/rhizomatic-learning-a-practical-view/
I find myself first amused at the cognitive dissonance associated with the idea of a practical course on rhizomatic learning, as I tend to think of practical courses are more didactic in nature. But then I think, I’m facilitating a practical course on blogging at (http://shouldiblog.org), where I took lesson from what I learned in Rhizo last year. It hasn’t completely had the same effect – the community isn’t nearly as tight and yet in other ways the community it tighter. It is certainly a different form of community.
Already there are great practical discussions about leading free online courses where the intention is that ‘the community is the curriculum’. Mostly, I’m following the discussions on the open Rhizo14 Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/260654857426965/
The current discussions are focusing on how does one welcome in new voices to the community without setting up some form of hierarchy (Specific link to discussion: https://www.facebook.com/groups/260654857426965/permalink/473593116133137/)? A sense that voices are new or old is a hierarchy in and of itself. Those of us who have been collaborating for a while all feel comfortable jumping into the conversation, but do new people also feel comfortable joining in? Can we create a new community that has trace elements of the #rhizo14 community while avoiding the inadvertent ‘insider speaking’ that is apt to happen when you have been collaborating for over a year?
For me, the rhizo community has been somewhat of a special place. I have developed not just new ‘connections’ but new friends. I have had some small successes as a scholar in this community, and I’m participating in some projects that I really enjoy. The collaborations that I have participated in that have grown out of the #rhizo14 course/community are turning out to be some of my most rewarding collaborations. There is something different about the way in which we collaborate that I think is interesting – it is certainly very different then the collaborations that have grown out of my face-to-face contacts. Perhaps part of that is the openness to different cultures and different perspectives? or the type of people that crave this type of collaboration? I don’t know. Perhaps there is a study in that?
It will be interesting to see how things go this year …