This week’s chapter explored social learning, ‘push’ and ‘pull’ paradigms, and building platform for social learning. I will focus on two points relevant for me in this chapter: First the proposal to shift push paradigm toward pull paradigm. Second the relevance of passion as a success factor in social learning.
I found at the same time interesting and intriguing the shifting paradigm from push practices to pull practices. I tend to be cautious to extremely different approaches where the benefit of the new focus are exalted over previous learning theories. Since I found the importance to incorporate programs focusing on emerging learning demands logical as a effective approach to “achieving innovation, sustainability, and success at both institutional/organizational and personal levels” (Hagel et al. 2010 cited in Lankshear and Knobel, 2011 p. 226) I have personal hesitations toward shifting totally away from the previous planning approach (or push model as the authors mentioned). I believe in the importance of large-scale planing and programming development. I think both models can work together providing adequate solutions to the various curriculum developing demands and flow in constant adaptations of constraints and resources each educational designer will face during the educational process.
Rather than confronting both approaches in mutual excluding practices, I think it would be more beneficial to learn in practice how to identify which components of both are key to support building collective knowledge, innovation, and productiveness, which are in my understanding the ultimate goal of social learning. I agree with the statement proposed to be discussed that it will always be necessary for some push involvement in education. I visualize push and pull models as an iterative process where the last level of pull achieved is the advanced outcome desired.
The authors pointed out how passion is the driving force to success in social learning. During a previous experience exploring affinity space I concluded that participants’ passions about specific topics is the most important element to establish solid online presence and be a successful contributor in online groups. I was missing another element of success: persistence. Lankshear and Knobel explained how the ability to innovate presupposes mastery within an area of domain, in practice this implies dedicating time to practicing, learning, exploring, applying, experimenting and so on to become an expert. The authors summarize the successful social learning experience in this idea: “… mastery presupposes ‘persistence’. Persistence, in turn, requires passion”. (Lankshear and Knobel, 2011, p. 224) What can be the real implications for education? How can we help students to identify their passion? How to encourage persistence in the current social learning where the tendency is to change and innovate constantly?
I think Gee and Hayes theory of the trajectory of passion is a brilliant explanation of how passion can really drive to success. Regarding my interest in developing positive identity in immigrant students I can visualize important applications encouraging collaborative communities in developing community projects. As O’Brien, Alfano, and Magnusson found in their research of Improving Cross-Cultural Communication Through Collaborative technologies the importance of shared passion, incorporation affinities, and persistence becomes evident in developing intercultural communication and digital pedagogy. They pointed out “Our research shows that three factors need to be met in the establishment of an effective protocol for digitally mediated cross-cultural collaboration and consequent intercultural understanding: dedication of
focus to the task at hand; simulated proximity to the communicators; and close transparency of medium.” In my opinion these findings are a solid start point to build multicultural platforms for social learning.
Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (2011). New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning. New York: Open University Press.
O’Brian, A., Alfano, C., Magnusson, E. (2007) Improving cross-cultural communication through collaborative technologies [Online]