Saturday, April 14, 2012


       I think everyone in this class would agree that this has been nothing like we ever imagined college to be. For some it was a breath of fresh air while for others is was a rod jamming their tire spokes. 

For me it was somewhere on the fresh air side but one thing is for sure; this class has changed the way I will view future learning.   
       In my previous reflective blog post I went through what I had learned up to then and how I got there. Admittedly, I was fairly confused even then and if you would like to know from the beginning of the semester till then I would direct you to that. Since then, however, I feel that I have been able to make a small clearing in this jungle we call 'self directed learning.' I had never really contemplated the fact that our learning is not self directed. In traditional school we are pulled, pushed, or kicked in the way the instructor would like us to go. The typical student has become complacent with this and, like a rag doll, has simply gone along for the ride.
       Coming to this class reminded me of a communist country being liberated. Not everyone immediately wanted it or even knew what to do with their new found freedom. Should I work harder or just stop working at all? Consciously or subconsciously I believed this question crossed every student's mind. It took a while to know what to do but for me it wasn't till my openness blog post that I feel I started understanding what was going on. I began to recognize the problem which was vital to solving the issue. This was the beginning to a few leaps which has led me to really believe that self directed leaning is not only desirable but actually possible. Even within the confines of standard education I can be a self directed learner. It will take quite a bit more effort than being a rag doll student but the things in life worth having seem to be those we work the hardest for.

finding people

To be honest, I feel that I did fairly well in contacting people about our book and event. Here is who I contacted:

1. Facebook - I had a few people watch online because of posting on Facebook
2. Google+
3. Open Government group on Linkedin - Surprisingly, A few people expressed interest in the event.
4. Rachael Chappell - Sister who does home school and was interested in how education will be affected  by openness. She could only watch the beginning before the video went choppy and died because of her humble computer. She emailed me and said that she thinks openness may be only for people who are up-to-date. An interesting point to be discussed.
5. Trey Ratcliff (creative commons advocate) - I attempted to get in his circles but unfortunately he has too many people following him and never replied.
6. Michael Nielsen (Author of Reinventing Discovery) - We exchanged emails about the book and gave a couple good thoughts which we tried to implement in the book. 
7. Richard Baraniuk (Professor at Rice University and gave a ted talk about openness) - I also talked to him about the book. We sent a few emails back and forth and he expressed interest in the event. I haven't heard if he was able to watch or not.

I also attempted to contact two other professionals by email but never got a response. If you count my wife and other immediate family and friends it could come to ten but these were the best ones. I was surprised I was able to converse with some professionals who are advocating openness. It was very entertaining and I learned that connecting with people is only as hard as you make it.