Posted by: MandyS | February 27, 2013

More on metaphors…

The second part of this activity is aimed at my applying the metaphors to my own learning. As Dave says in his comment, this may be difficult as learning is complex. There has been quite a discussion about this on the forum, but, having fallen behind, I haven’t had the opportunity to get involved as yet. Anyway, here are my reflections on Activity 2:

Use the AM and PM metaphors to reflect on the way you use (or have used in the past) technologies for learning in a formal context in comparison with an informal one. Select two contrasting examples from these learning experiences and simply note down what you learned and how you learned it.

As opposed to looking at the way my students learn I will look instead at my own learning.

A formal context:  I use the tutor group forum for H800 as a formal learning technology. In terms of the acquisition metaphor, I read the material and then use the forum to see whether my own views are similar to those of others or have I missed something? From this I can gain more information and a different perspective to my own learning. At this stage, I am still a recepticle gathering in more information, which I can think about and ‘construct meaning’ from. The participation metaphor comes into play when I actively put forward my own views and comment on the views of others. I am now ‘doing’ something and have become an integral part of the ‘learning community’. My knowledge is replaced by ‘knowing’? I know how others view the same ideas and that my own knowledge may be accurate or incomplete.

An informal context: Reading the news on my mobile. Here I acquire knowledge i.e. what is happening in the world, but I don’t discuss it so there is no participation. Not that participation is not possible. With Sky news you can leave your own comment and invite comment or I could share my views on Twitter or Facebook. Yet this is not the same as disussing issues in the forum as I am not expecting feedback and I am unlikely to get it (unless I posted something particularly controversial). I think the difference here is that there is no sharing of knowledge and I am not part of a wider learning community. Does this mean the PM does not apply? I suppose this takes one back to the idea of active and passive participation.

Notice whether you’ve talked about:

  • knowing more
  • gaining something
  • being able to do something
  • participating in new activities or a new group
  • having new ideas or new possibilities for yourself – feeling differently about something.

Well I think my own analysis encompasses most of this so hopefully I am on the right lines.

  • Do all these instances refer to learning in terms of either acquisition or participation or a combination of both?
  • Did you find instances that do not seem to fit exactly with either acquisition or participation?

I think formal learning lends itself more readily to determining which type of learning is taking place even though there is a combination i.e. reading the material and reading the forum is the acquisition of knowledge (AM) but the ‘real’ participation doesn’t take place until there is some contribution to the forum (PM). It is the informal learning which does not necessarily fit because one might not always consider meaning or discuss issues.

  • Is your learning process more oriented to you as an individual or to you within a social context?

Definitely to me as an individual as I make the decision about how I am going to approach my learning.

I may be in the minority here, but I have not found it particularly difficult to identify how the metaphors apply in my own learning. For me, the difficulty is determing what amounts to ‘participation.’ In some respects, this is worrying. Should I be finding it difficult? I suppose only time will tell…


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