All around the mulberry bush,
The monkey chased the weasel,
The monkey thought ’twas all in fun,
“Pop! Goes the weasel
As I began writing this post, this popular nursery rhyme / game popped in my head and I thought what a great analogy for the learning I have been undertaking during this session of learning. I have been really fortunate to interact with some exceptionally talented people and it has challenged me in so many ways. As I sit and reflect the mulberry bush is the many, many readings, You Tube clips and readings we have endured throughout the session thus far. (It’s not over yet!) The content of the readings has pushed me beyond my zone of proximal development I am sure at times but I have learned to persist. So yes, the monkey is me running round and round trying to get that weasel, or the learning I need to continue my lifelong learning journey.
Another concept I have wrestled with is the idea of a ‘just in time learner’ and yes, I am one. The ‘just in time’ is the filling of the gaps in learning and we all have them. I have been in awe (and sometimes a little envious) of some of my partners in learning as they are able to keep adding to their blogs and that is their learning style. For me, I need time away after reading to digest what it is that I read and then I can come back and write my thoughts or reflections down. When I get stuck on a concept, it can take me much more reading to really synthesise my thoughts.
I have been running round and round that mulberry bush, trying to catch that weasel and pop! It’s happening. Clarity. This has been valuable learning for me on a personal and professional level, as personally, it doesn’t make my learning wrong or right, it’s just learning. Learning in this digital age of infowhelm has shown me firsthand what it is that Helen Haste (2009) suggested about the ‘chaos’, the messy middle part. Professionally, I have come to understand the importance of that ‘point of need’ and the affective domain which Kuhlthau included in the Information Search Process.
So taking on some of the learning, ‘walking the talk’, what will that look like in the next couple of weeks:
* Problem-solving – trying to make sense of the task and what it is that I want and need to do. It’s not about regurgitation, it’s about creating my own learning pathway and somewhere throughout this course I have been interested in and followed my own areas of inquiry as i circled round and round.
* Managing and organising the information, in response to work by Helen Haste (2009) – preparing my focus, going back and weeding out the information not needed and making sure the mulberry bush or content of my various assessment tasks is relevant and pertinent.
* Creating the visual (graphic) – that is so important in the way we learn now. In game-based learning it is one of the key features. So my talking wall , which is what I say about those displays, I spend time putting together, for my own students is up and functioning as I pinpoint the various sources that I need.
* Immersing myself – this is all the background knowledge we have been guided to and then some of my own. Interestingly enough, immersion is a big concept in game-based learning as well.
* Synthesising and Evaluating the wealth of information that has been presented.
Yes, this is information behaviour in practice. I still wonder if I’m doing it the right way or is there ever a right way?