My moment of serendipity in an open course

In a few of our friday meetings the topic of blogging has come up and I have admitted to not being the most prolific blogger probably because I tend to obsess over little details and continue wonder if the blog post is “finished” Anyway as a result of this I have a bunch of blog posts in “draft status” that I never seem to complete. From discussions with some of my colleagues what I’m gradually learning to accept is that perhaps blogging can be one way I think aloud and invite others to help refine my ideas. At the very least it can be a place to wonder.  So in that spirit I’m going through my drafts and resurrecting some of the posts I began but never published. Here’s one of them:

The #thoughtvectors cMooc began a few weeks ago and I have been observing and learning along with the students and open participants. I’m sure many participants have had their own moments of serendipity within this course but here’s mine:

I randomly picked one students blog to read and there in the second paragraph was something that made a real connection with me. This student used her experiences in Ghana as a lens to frame her thoughts on Vannevar Bush’s “As We May Think”  As she described in vivid detail her visit to Elmina castle I couldn’t help but connect with her words and images.
I was reminded of a Ghanaian poet whose work revolves around the slave trade and memory and in particular a poem he wrote about one of the castles along Ghana’s coastline.

Its interesting what can happen when students learning is out in the open and not hidden behind the gates of a traditional LMS….


NOTHING COULD be simpler:
History simplified as a castle
The wind stands mouthing
Nothing can be heard
Except the rainroar of the past

To hear the rain
Recount its story to the roof
Flash silver and sorrow

This history: a drop of amnesia
Widening in its pool
It hates to intrude, fears to offend
The past with the averted eyes
Is careful not to impose:
A gift of absence to the present

The weight of the braided days
A whirlwind coming home
The sun slowly blinded by the clouds

It was dark then, it is dark now
Give memory nothing
And it is darker still tomorrow

I can feel the sea quietly rock our earth to sleep

– by Kwadwo Opoku-Agyemang

2 Comments on “My moment of serendipity in an open course”

  1. “what can happen when students learning is out in the open” , along with putting our own thoughts in the open… not easy to change our perspective but I think it will be better as we practice the concept.

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