PLE: Thoughts about reciprocity

I dipped my toe in the PLENK2010 MOOC today with the following discussion post that I wanted to capture here ...

Dave Cormier wrote in the discussion board for the course ...

I'm not sure that the technologies are the greatest impediment to making this work. I think it's a combination of a few things... off the top of my head...

  1. The notion that content is something that derives from the educator and the institution rather than through a negotiation process --> tough to continue if the focus of the course is on the content pre-described
  2. Student ownership of their own content --> difficult to continue a discussion when the main interaction is in a closed environment
  3. Educational goals --> if a course has a set 'endpoint' a test that needs to be passed, it defines a point at which learning has been 'accomplished'.

... to which I replied ...

Dave and I touched on this topic during EdTechWeekly this past Sunday and I just wanted to add a twist to Dave's #2 (Student ownership of their own content) which gets into the pay-it-forward / reciprocity issue. I would guess most of us have been incredibly impressed with Alec's ability to get his students to not only drink from the social networking fountain (lurk), but to also prime the pump by sharing their own work (pay-it-forward). Yet, in my experience as a student who has striven to create and maintain my own PLE (of sorts .. depending on your definition) for many years, I see strong resistance from students to put their own work "out there" ... for many reasons (time commitment, fear of instructor's / institution's view on sharing work with others, etc.), but largely due to the fear that they are showing the world what they don't know.

Through my masters and doctoral program, I have maintained a drupal site to both capture for myself and share with others my reflections of both in and out of class experiences, papers, projects, etc. and have heard many times from peer students that they access my work. Yet, when I remind them my desire in sharing my PLE is to foster some type of "pay-it-forward" reciprocity model where you give back as payment for receiving, the response is a consistent, "No way." So, circling back to Dave's #2 bullet point, the issue of student ownership extends to what students "do" with what they own (hide it, toss it, share it ...)

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