The strongest participation by far in all of the P2PU School of Ed courses is happening in the discussions. (Fortuitous that we chose this logo graphic, huh? :)

There are lots of posts, comments, questions back and forth, etc. Clearly, this is where engagement is happening in these groups. This is not a surprise if you see learning as a primarily social endeavor.

And so I am reflecting on whether deep learning can occur primarily, or even solely, as a result of short format conversations.

My first gut reaction, I must say, is no. I think you need other resources as well…reading, writing, depth.

But then I think about Twitter. While I initially thought it was a bit of a waste of time, I know count it as my #1 source for professional learning. The conversations I have there are amazing. Granted, it’s not all 140 character bits. It’s also links to readings, videos, and web sites. It’s blog posts. It’s photos. And sometimes, it’s invitations to jump off and have a “real conversation” on Skype or even f2f.

Digital Is has a good collection on this phenomenon here. (Thanks, Kevin.)

So…perhaps this is a new way for me to think about designing a peer learning experience. Perhaps it could be designed as a series of very active, short discussions that then lead to deeper learning experiences. Readings, writing, activities, etc. that grow out of the discussions.

This requires a lot of rethinking, in terms of format, audience, tools, and most probably course (group) topics. I’m going to think about an idea or two in this vein to try out in January. Any ideas or willing collaborators? ;)

Part 2-Social learning
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