Learning at the edge of chaos

Some of things I learned via Twitter this past week.

Breakthroughs Happen At The Edge of Chaos via @VenessaMiemis [which links to an image showing that between stability & chaos is where we find creativity and the closer we are to chaos, the more potential there is for breakthroughs]

To which I responded, “For individuals, that would be the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky)”

Speaking of Vygotsky:

Graham Attwell: Personal Learning Environments & Vygotsky. via @fdomon

Within this perspective a Personal Learning Environment could be seen as allowing the representation of knowledge, skills and prior learning and a set of tools for interaction with peers to accomplish further tasks. The PLE would be dynamic in that it would allow reflection on those task and further assist in the representation of prior knowledge, skills and experiences. In this context experiences are seen as representing performance or practice. Through access to external symbol systems (Clark, 1997) such as metadata, ontologies and taxonomies the internal learning can be transformed into externalised knowledge and become part of the scaffolding for others as a representation of a MKO within a Zone of Proximal Development. Such an approach to the design of a Personal Learning Environment can bring together the everyday evolving uses of social networks and social media with pedagogic theories to learning.

Note: This post also had Jay Cross (@jaycross) asking me if there is any difference between PLE and PKM (personal knowledge management), aside from their DNA; to which I responded that I didn’t see a major difference in the tools & practices, though PKM assumes a worker while PLE typically assumes a student/learner. The terms are pretty well interchangeable if you remove the formal student/teacher/institutional relationships. I’m not sure what came first, PKM or PLE, but it doesn’t really matter. Whatever you call it, at the edge of chaos, we need to take control of learning.

Speaking of breakthroughs at the edge of chaos, Euan Semple asks if we need a new religion (@euan):

The church and its myths predominated for centuries until Darwin, Freud and the carnage of the first world war trenches knocked a big whole in those assumptions. People weren’t ready for the vacuum left by the undermining of those stories though so the totalitarian regimes of Fascism and Communism filled the gap. When those myths too fell apart we were left with the myth of capitalism and the market and isn’t this beginning to look decidedly suspect since the collapse of the banking industry? Even watching the farce of the old them and us story of the right and left politics running out of steam in the UK general election is like watching another big story die.

The old, stable ways don’t work any more, says Ed Morrison (@edmorrison) in Re-engagement networks and the NASA Shuttle shutdown:

You can see the challenges, as I do, in the streets of Kokomo, or any Midwest auto community.
To address these challenges, we began to think about what a new system of economic adjustment — economic re-engagement — would look like. We designed re-engagement networks and set our challenge in a different light: In communities facing major transformations, we need to design and strengthen different types of re-engagement networks. This kind of thinking heads us in a different direction — away from the transactional, social service model that provides the foundation for our current systems.

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