Landing : Athabascau University

The Landing Works!

I was looking for information about an MDE e-portfolio meeting the other day.  Normally I would have used an email link from within Moodle to ask someone (probably Marguerite).  But the course I'm taking this semester isn't using Moodle and my old favorites were all cleared out when I brought my computer into to get fixed.

So I thought I'd try a new approach and posted the question in a group in the Landing.  And within a day I got two responses with the details I needed.  And it was nice that they opted to respond to my post.  Maybe simple acts really do have the power to build community.

Writing these blog posts has also served as a great way to organize my thoughts, and the comments of others have challenged my to push some of my ideas a little forward.

I've now also used it to collect a series of bookmarks and connect with many great resources and people both within the Landing and out in larger web in a way that has extended my learning beyond the "traditional" Moodle "classroom."  Again, it would seem a sense of belonging to a community emerges from a series of little acts.

Now I know none of this is particularly ground-breaking, and it likely even sounds cliche, but to me it is a real surprise.  At the end of June I described the Landing as disorienting, disconnected and disorganized.  It had no starting point, few rules, and no real purpose. 

In early October, if someone asked, I'd say it's a close-knit, supportive place: comfortable, maybe even cozy.  It has a thousand starting points and paths, many tools and endless possibilities;  the Landing hasn't changed (much) bt my perspective sure has.

I've almost never been called a linear thinker and have often found myself in trouble for too many questions, but I realize now that my conceptualization of formal educational spaces (including those in DE) were rigid: a path, defined content, preestablished learning objectives, a class, a course.

And even though I've always beleived that the best learning occurs in the informal spaces that surround these formal spaces (think late-night study session, Skyping about an assignment, the hallways at a conference), I coudln't really ever grasp the potential of moving the formal learning into those informal spaces.  Until now.

I always knew that DE had the potential to transcend place, space, and time, that's what has drawn me back time and time again.  And yet, I also always walked away feeling that something was missing; it was always the best choice given the barriers, the pratical thing to do, better than... 

But now, somehow is starting to feel.....not perfect, but complete.  Thanks.



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