Creating Knowledge Together
On Wednesday, August 15th we hosted our first Walk Out Walk On #wowochat focused on education and learning. We convened this 4-hour Tweet Chat session because we’ve been encountering many educators unsatisfied with the current school systems who are walking out of institutions and limiting beliefs about what’s possible. It was also an experiment in social media for the emerging Walk Out Walk On community; we wanted to see if Twitter could serve as a tool for self-organizing and creating new, meaningful connections. All in all, the experience included some 580 tweets by around 44 participants and reached over 38,000 Twitter accounts. You can download a full report including an archive of all tweets here. Deborah reflected on the experience in the blog “More Evidence That We Walk Outs Need Each Other.”
Though we found the experience chaotic in the beginning and difficult to follow the threads of conversation, a few key themes did emerge. Among these were the distinction between education and learning, the frustrations of trying to reform the old paradigm from the bottom up, the importance of peer-to-peer learning experiences and the conditions that support real learning. Many questions were raised about educational systems, learning environments and social media as a learning tool:
@tonyhall: Maybe the dominant education system works very well for the system it was/is designed for
@yeyoenoax: and while exploring new opts. we need to avoid reproducing what we know is useless, how to learn without prescriptions?
@schoolingworld: Power and learning don’t mix. Voluntary structure is not the same as involuntary authority.
@holden_jen: dominant institutions are spaces where power can be transformed through embracing radically new processes of connecting knowledge
@bridgetmck: My thesis: learning is accelerated when it’s fluid, contextual, social, domestic (in sense of local, nurturing, not just in house)
@hackofalltrades: I’ve found Twitter’s been my best source of learning in last 3-4yrs. Info/debate/opportunities/synchronicity…all available here!
Interestingly, many of the tweets that rose to the surface near the end of the chat had less to do with education per se, and seemed more connected to challenges of Walking Out and Walking On:
@trescolumnae: it’s where I’m stuck at the moment: can stay in system & keep livelihood, or walk out & ???
@happyseaurchin: my basic needs are met by government now, and were while i was paid to be a teacher… hence the system perpetuates
@holden_jen: must question dichotomy of inside/outside. Can one walkout and leave the system fully?
@aerindunford: i believe that practicing living in 2 worlds simultaneously is an art #walkoutwalkon ‘s must learn well
@dfrieze: Observing conversation and reflecting: walking out is a constant practicing of naming and noticing our limiting beliefs… and experimenting with letting them go. then seeing them arise again. then letting them go.
@yeyoenoax: I believe that the moment we start to walkout we discover that we carry a lot of false needs than can be cut