Today’s podcast, recorded last week, is a response to some comments on the “learning is social” conversation. I’ll let you give that a listen, then let’s talk some more. Next up for me, in this conversation, is Claudia’s post. I’m still working through Stephen’s thoughts on the subject, spoken just before and transcribed and published just after I wrote the social learning piece. Interesting conversation. I’m learning, I think.
One thought on “The Podcast: A Little More Social (Learning)”
I’ve read through your “Learning is Social. It Just Is.” post and looked through the comments and links. I think your thoughts are all on target if you base it on the Wikipedia definition in the post. More often that not, I think people look at the definition in the context of Merriam-Webster: “marked by or passed in pleasant companionship with one’s friends or associates” and or “tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others of one’s kind”.
“Language Has Context.” As I listened to the podcast, it seems clear that the word social has more of a Merriam-Webster definition people’s mind. In the comment to your previous post, Michelle Baldwin hits the nail on the head that many people equate social with a party-like interactive environment. If you go with the wiki entry stating that an organism may or may not be aware of the interaction, it changes the language to become more receptive to your suggestion that reading a book is social because it couldn’t exist for the reader without the author having written it.
“Learning is a Communication from Past Self to Future Self”
Your other podcast about Purposeful Transparency is directly related to the idea of communicating from my past self to my present self. My writing on my blog is a fantastic example of this purpose. I don’t consider it to be social learning when I am writing from past to future self; especially in the context of your Wikipedia definition. It becomes social when I post it and others can benefit. I may not know how it is helping or affecting other people. I don’t always get a lot of comments, but I can tell from StatCounter that certain posts are read more than others. I have no idea how those people are benefiting or discarding my thoughts.
“We need to spend time in a solitary way, but other people are interacting with you through the media.”
I look at the Merriam-Webster definition of social in this instance as a back-and-forth. I love when I know the author and I can engage them in thought. Sometimes, I go out of my way to seek out more from an author that I do not know. I’ll look for a web site, video, interview, or podcast to try to get deeper into their thoughts. I’d prefer a dialog, though.
“We might be very social and not talk in the classroom…easy to over simplify”. “To say learning is social and we must be interacting is not what I’m saying.” “So many people are unable to have a shared understanding of these terms.”
I do understand that you’re looking at this in a specific vein. It is a sort of a philosophical conversation. You’re trying to get past the dictionary definition into the metaphysical realm. At that point, in the nature of being and the world – all learning is social. We’d have to be raised in an isolation booth. I guess at that point, even feral children would have to be learning socially. They’re interacting with other organisms to make sense of the world. They’re fighting for food, shelter, and other basic necessities.
It’s an interesting concept to mull over in my head. It was a push in a different direction for me in my understanding of the word social.