Archive for the 'learning' Category

Mar 03 2014

Learning from the “Rules” of Etegami: It is fine to be clumsy

From DosanKodebbie's Etegami Notebook
There is so much to learn from the THE THREE “RULES” OF ETEGAMI, a Japanese style of painting. I could write so much more, but it could not add to these three amazing rules.

1 The motto of Etegami is “It’s fine to be clumsy. It’s good to be clumsy.” What matters is whether or not you have put your heart into your painting, not whether the painting is a fine work of art. Your earnestness communicates to the person who receives the card, and touches his heart. Each etegami should express something of the character of the person who painted it.

2 Etegami is a one-shot deal; there is no underdrawing or practicing on another piece of paper before doing the actual painting. Every time you paint an etegami, you are, so to speak, “broadcasting live.” There is no concept of a “failed” or “ruined” etegami. Every etegami you paint should be placed in the mail box and sent on its way to someone else.

3 Unlike many other forms of traditional Japanese art, there is no “model” etegami painted by a master for you to imitate. The flowers and vegetables created by the hand of God are your best “models.” Observe these models closely before you begin to paint them.

via dosankodebbie’s etegami notebook: a review of the “rules” of etegami.

And because it is Monday and it has been so long since I posted a Monday video, here is Etegami in practice:

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Jul 22 2013

The Value of Hybrid/Blended Learning

Published by under learning

faoblended Image from From

Via Stephen Downes came this snippet that caught my eye.  Discussing design models for hybrid/blended learning and the impact on the campus ~ Stephen’s Web.

Tony Bates writes, “Despite all the hype about MOOCs, hybrid learning is probably the most significant development in e-learning – or indeed in teaching generally – in post-secondary education, at least here in Canada.” I think that if you look inside universities, this is true. But outside formal education institutions, the hybrid model is virtually nonexistent.

Hm, in my world, which is definitely outside post-secondary education and not in Canada, blended models are front and center. So I thought I’d leave Stephen a note and get Mike Culligan, a colleague from LINGOS and Last Mile Learning, to chime in. Here is what we replied in the comments. I have added some links to mine which were not in the original comments!

Re: Discussing design models for hybrid/blended learning and the impact on the campus

I wanted to give you a heads up that the hybrid model is indeed alive and well outside of formal education institutions. FAO’s most successful learning programs are now blended (particularly good examples in S. Africa around Food Security Policy learning projects) , LINGOS.ORG has been getting very good results w/ blended and showing significant resources savings from their traditional F2F offerings, and better results than pure play elearning, and other organizations in development are moving in the same direction. Little old me too – much of the capacity building/structured learning I facilitate is now blended. I think the problem is these different worlds don’t talk to each other very much. [Comment] [Permalink]

More examples – International Development

I work with LINGOs – the international development organization Nancy White mentioned above. In addition to the examples she provided, there are more examples from Plan International, Management Sciences for Health, etc.

> One of the programs with the longest track record is the Virtual Leadership Development (Program ). Operating since 2002, the program’s website describes the learning experience as follows:

>”Rather than giving a few top level managers off-site leadership training for one to two weeks or more, the VLDP trains up to 12 teams of four to 10 people virtually over the course of 13 weeks. The VLDP requires approximately four to six hours of individual commitment per week. Team members work independently on the VLDP web site with additional support from the program workbook. They also participate in on-site team meetings within their organizations throughout the program. During the VLDP, each team plans and develops an action plan that addresses a real organizational or programmatic challenge facing them.

I recently completed a desk study with Scott Leslie for another organization (and I think we’ll be able to share it soon!) to review their elearning options and again, the blended learning option was high on our analysis. My work a couple of weeks ago in Kenya with leaders of agricultural networks which focus on learning across various ag domains again identified blended as a significant option, allowing both the deeper focus and relationship that we can wring out of F2F, with the ongoing, “home-based” learning that the network members can do online.

Formal, informal and in-between, blended RULES in my experience. What about in yours? Stephen, your post also reminded me we still have a lot of network weaving to do to help this type of learning permeate across the membranes of the .edu, .org and .com worlds!

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Jul 15 2013

Vectors of Learning

SharonI’m just back from a week in Nairobi, Kenya, with a group of amazing practitioners doing a wide variety of community based development work across Africa. They are masters of building value chains, community based learning, rural finance and many other domains. We gathered to spend four days expanding their practice of supporting communities of practice and networks of learning online. For me, these are yet another vector for learning.

Due to the travel, I missed the first week of my Acumen sponsored MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) on Human Centered Design. I have been one of those “enroll but never do anything” people and hoped the F2F gathering group here in Seattle would pull me in. I still have my fingers crossed. It’s about vectors for learning.

So I was delighted today to be pointed to a great post on “Charlie’s Blog: To Notice and to Learn” (Hat tip Stephen Downes). Charlie shares a reflection from a humanities professor on the depth of engagement in the online discussion threads of his MOOC, “The Fiction of Relationship” (Coursera link). This line summing things up from Charlie grabbed me.

Lifelong learning is a bouquet of flowers that we must gather and arrange ourselves, and MOOCs are the stem of new type of flower, on which beautiful new petals might blossom.

via A Heartfelt Note from a Humanities MOOC Professor | Charlie’s Blog – To Notice and to Learn.

The bouquet, if we follow the metaphor, is rich with possibilities. With people’s time more fractured than ever, there is a seemingly growing disbelief that we can meaningfully engage, build trust and relationships, learn, work and play — even in asynchronous discussion threads. That promise is there. It has been there for a long time. What we only need to add is our time, care and attention.  WE have the vectors. Now let’s learn.



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Mar 18 2013

Clark Quinn says “Yes, you (we!) do have to change”

3212164191_4ae8fbf744_oLearnlets » Yes, you do have to change. Clark Quinn nails a good one today. In writing about effective learning, he notes:

And that’s assuming courses are all the learning unit should be doing, but increasingly we recognize that that’s only a small proportion of what makes important business outcomes, and increasingly we’re recognizing that the role needs to move from instructional designer to performance consultant. More emphasis can and should be on providing performance resources and facilitating useful interactions rather than creating courses. Think performance support first, and communities of practice, only resorting to courses as a last result.

This rang my bell as I’m starting to do some research for a client on effective ways for more distributed work place learning. (More on this later, as I want to pick your collective brains.)I’m deeply interested in these intersections on roles.

What do we know about the costs of moving towards more performance support for globally distributed, not-all-in-one organization contexts? (I’m talking international development here!) Ideas?

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Feb 09 2013

Safe Fail Experimentation Evidence

I love this piece on the front of the Learning Creative Learning MOOC from MIT.


In Mitch Resnick’s intro his final word is about learning through mistakes. Yeah, baby!

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