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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What I've learnt so far: the meaning of 'sharing'

‘…Sharing… it really starts with two

‘Sharing… there’s no comparing with give and take… you can share too!
‘… Sharing… it helps teachers grow
‘Sharing is really caring… ‘cause who you know… is what you know!
‘… Sharing… PLNs start with two
‘… Sharing… is just preparing, so that teachers can learn… with “their crew”
‘Sharing… it’s up to me and you
‘Sharing… now that’s the real clue
‘Sharing… is real daring, but I hope… I can count… on YOU!’ (Metcalfe, B. 2011. My PLN: A Teacher's Treasure)

To tell you the truth, when I got the meaning of the lyrics on this fantastic video posted on this blog, I didn’t like the idea of so much sharing at all. Why? Well, basically, I’d been educated in a competitive environment in which you don’t show your weaknesses at college, university or the workplace. That’s valuable information that can be used against you.

In my country, among other controversies, you’ll find out that, as a teacher, you’re trained through very traditional methods but then you’re expected to teach your students through the latest ones. For instance, you spend your academic life mostly attending lectures but then you’ve got to foster highly interactive, collaborative work among your students.

Anyway, I’ve learnt that when something upsets me, I must pay attention to it and try to find out the reason. The chances are that what upsets me is actually pushing me away from my comfort zone.

So far, I’ve been using OneNote and Evernote to keep my reflections and other stuff. I’ve never felt like sharing my weaknesses with people other than my mentors. Let alone on a blog like this one (this blog was initially just the visible part of my e-portfolio).

But then if you take part in a cMOOC, you’ll have to share the whole learning experience with others including your weaknesses. That’s precisely, I believe, what’s really daring. In a sense, it’s like being naked. So it takes some courage to show the world your erroneous zones. That is, in order to keep improving, you need to be aware of your own flaws. But that’s not enough along the lines of connectivism; you’ve got to share them. Otherwise, how can you expect others to help you move on? It’s all give and take; you create knowledge as you´re working collaboratively with others.

But in my case, I’ll have to find a way of giving more and taking less. I’ve recently gone through information overload (Thanks to Sue Waters’ tips I managed to stop the email notifications flooding my inbox this morning).

So in a way, I rediscovered the meaning of sharing. Brian Metcalfe couldn’t be more right. In a fun and inspiring way, he summarises what I think is the main tenet of connectivism; connecting with others through sharing; sharing not only resources, but also what you are. To do so, you need to learn to rely on others as they rely on you.