Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rhizo what?! My First look at Rhizomatic Learning - Warning: raw thoughts, messiness ahead! -1

I don't really enjoy writing (yet). But as I keep repeating, what I learn is not dependent on what I write for others to read. A way to help my self prepare for writing is put my raw thoughts in a private or a draft blog, leave it, come back and look at it, tweak it, add more, leave it, come back, organize it a bit, leave it etc.  until it looks like something that someone can read and understand. Takes time and it is hmm stressful(?).

Yesterday it occurred to me that in F2F learning I never wait for my thoughts to become perfectly organized and neat before I share them, I do a lot of thinking aloud, so why not do the same in writing? Would be interesting to see how it works.

How will it work? No idea yet. May be update this blog by commenting on it myself or , hmmm ok I put a number 1 in the heading let's see if I continue my thoughts and number the following headings 2, 3, 4 (ambitious) :). again we(I) will see.

Back ground
(may be put it in the about me??)

First reactions
What is rhizomatic learning:  Dave Cormier's video based on presentation he gave in India (find the video again and add it. I should've diigo'd it)
Rhizomes : networks are not all as simple or seemingly neat as they are depicted. Rhizomes' network if depicted/represented may look as organized or neat (ask a specialist). Dave mentions one kind of rhizomes that is harmful or a pest to garden. When he talks about his children and how they learn what is he looking for? Does he want Rhizomeatic learning to replace the existing way of learning? Rhizomatic to me may describe a way of learning which means it is the behavior of the Rhizome not the rhizome itself that we are looking at. Or are we looking at the thoughts being the rhizome?

Have we decided that rhizomatic learning is good? How?
Is it better than neat planned learning through studying?
Is it an another case of either or, so that we prefer to have rhizomatic learning?

Where does Rhizomatic fit? When things are uncertain? How did we decide that? how is that different than the existing

Education? Teaching, Studying, Learning. Differences? which one does the Rhizomatic fit in.
What do we mean by LEARNing in Rhizomatic learning and in general? K S A (I still find this very useful)?

I know I am Always Learning in so many ways. Planned, spontaneous, targeted, untargeted, studying, communicating, playing  so isn't that rhizomatic?
I keep remembering  Code yourself course that I've just recently finished. So may be it works like

Forever { check around you (until completely uninteresting or fully known go explore (if energizing and useful go learn))} hmmm I wonder if I can create a representation of this in scratch. :) Idea: will get my niece (11) in on it and create something (she likes to draw so would be interesting to see what she comes up with for learning and the different elements).

Subjectives vs objectives? Why vs? Aren't Subjectives always there even if not spelled out in writing or sometimes without even being spoken of? Some of my Subjectives are to trigger curiosity and a sense of wonder, self reflection, aha moments, surprise, need to find out/learn more, fun, enjoyment, excitement, a moment of Yesss .


  1. I love the messiness of your post ... It helps to elucidate the messiness of learning :-)

    1. Thank you Rebbeca :) . I've been thinking about the word messy in this case and what it means. This is what the result of a quick google search :

      1. a dirty or untidy state of things or of a place.
      "she made a mess of the kitchen"
      synonyms: untidiness, disorder, disarray, clutter, shambles, jumble, muddle, chaos
      "please clear up the mess"
      a thing or collection of things causing an untidy or dirty state.
      "she replaced the jug and mopped up the mess"
      a person who is dirty or untidy.
      "I look a mess"
      a portion of semisolid or pulpy food, especially one that looks unappetizing.
      "a mess of mashed black beans and rice"
      used euphemistically to refer to the excrement of a domestic animal.
      "dog mess"
      synonyms: excrement, muck, feces, excreta
      "don't step in the dog mess"
      2. a situation or state of affairs that is confused or full of difficulties.
      "the economy is still in a terrible mess"
      synonyms: plight, predicament, tight spot/corner, difficulty, trouble, quandary, dilemma, problem, muddle, mix-up, imbroglio

      Some of those meanings sound negative but in some situations those same things may be good and just right for the experience and for the learning.

  2. Questions are great because they suddenly grow into different directions. I enjoyed your stream-of-consciousness writing, Maha. I hope you do feel you can trust readers to share your thoughts. Journalling might be good for you but not for us because we miss out!

    1. Thank you Tania :) I actually don't have the habit of journalling and I think may be if I did it would've made writing easier. I am not sure if this will come as a surprise to you or not, I enjoy sharing my thoughts so much that it stops me from writing. I started doing a bit of journalling to prepare when I need to write something that others can read and understand. It's like taking snap shots during a journey full of different types of activities around the world then putting them on the table, looking at them again and selecting the ones that are most relevant and the best way to present them to tell the story.

      Online, when almost all the discussions are in written format it is I who tends to miss out on sharing, and I thought to experiment with changing that.

      Is this rhizomatic learning? I think it is. :)

  3. Maha, I like this posting and your questions. Going public with our thoughts is considered of great value in the creative writing courses I've taken and maybe has become part of my learning by that route. One course I found very useful for opening up was Travel Writing. By encountering something you can't be criticized for not knowing about you are free to wander and speculate.
    My guess is the rhizome being an ill defined learning scheme encourages more wiggle room for open thinking. I can't think of a way to test this and that must help too?

    1. I'd be really interested to know more about the creative writing courses. I am curious about who is usually interested in creative writing?

      You say "By encountering something you can't be criticized for not knowing about you are free to wander and speculate. ". Fear of criticism is one thing that may discourage or block some people from writing especially creatively, but in general I keep thinking about the difference between the process of thinking (including imagining) and the process of putting or expressing those thoughts using a linear written format.

      So far rhizome to me is a metaphor for a way of learning and the more I think about it the more I am convinced that it is just what we ALWAYS do. Rhizomes do grow both in the wild and in a pot, don't they?