Working with Others: Branching Out, Going Deep


So the material for this week’s Creativity, Innovation and Change MOOC is focusing on the idea of creative collaborations,  In particular, the emphasis is on making the best use of a group’s wide range of talents, skills, capacities and motivations to move creative work forward and leaving the unproductive tensions to the side.

Bringing diverse perspectives and ideas to the table are also a core value in the Critical and Creativity Thinking program as well.  As I was wrapping up participation in the September Collaborative Exploration: Everyone Can Think Creatively!  I benefited a great deal from insights from two collaborators who gave me new ways to think about and extend my work at constructing an exercise that explored the social aspects of creation. Both of these individuals come to these CE with thinking that is different, yet both brought very good insights to my own thinking that I would not have come up with on my own.  I love these experiences with CEs and other CCT offerings because there is an emphasis on promoting and sustaining spaces where lots of diverse ideas and thoughts can surface.  I always learn something beyond what I thought I would.

This is also one of the aspects I love about the best of engagement in MOOCs — when I take advantage of it.  The idea that I could come in contact with lots of diverse ideas and individuals is exhilarating.  Yet, I seem to gravitate in these open learning environments to others who think about and are interested in the things I am — such as technology enabled learning, building learning communities, and navigating new learning landscapes.  Here the contributions are not so much about an entirely new perspective, but rather going deeper and extending my thinking in an area shared by others.

So I wonder how we go about constructing our own personal learning networks to ensure that we have enough challenging people and opportunities that make us think differently, while at the same time cultivating connections with those who want to dig deep into an area we are all passionate about.  Maybe this will be something to explore further in the upcoming open seminar on personal learning networks.