Inquiry, Google, Genius Hour… it all boils down to Rhizomatic learning.

Posted: January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized
Photo Credit: Lilia Efimova via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Lilia Efimova via Compfight cc

Today was one of those sessions that I lurked mostly.  I couldn’t help it.  There was so much that was unfamiliar to me, that I just had to stop and take stock in what everyone was talking about.  The session today, presented by Dave Cormier, was all about Rhizomes, MOOCs and Making Sense of Complexity.  I’m not sure that I left that session with any more sense about complexity than when I started it.

The image to the right is not the same as the one presented in the webinar, but it does seem a little be more informational.  The one from the webinar can be found down below.  We took time to come up with strategies and examples of things we use in the classroom or real life that fell into each one of those categories.  Without having the image to look at, I sat and watched, but I gained a bit of insight as to what it was all about.

Diving into the complexity of learning, and even making the learning complex is something that I’ve been doing for years, without even realizing it.  Maybe this is the reason why I am a self-proclaimed credit junkie.  I am constantly learning, whether in a university class, online via Twitter, or now as my first experience in a MOOC.  I must say, that I am truly being pushed to get out there and share my knowledge.

When I first joined the team of teachers that I am currently on, I introduced the idea of #geniushour to them.  They were thrilled by it, but we never got it off the ground.  The idea of a genius hour allows students the inquiry and the choice of their study that they don’t often get with a prescribed curriculum.  The mastermind of Genius hour is Dan Pink, except he formulated it for the workplace.  His model was based on Google’s 20% model.

So where does this all lead?  I think that it all comes down to fostering the motivation to learn.  I was floored after I watched that video that Gmail was a product that  20%.  That is just incredible!  The things that people come up with on their own and learn about because there isn’t a grade attached to it… this has very real-world applications, so why shouldn’t we give them that opportunity?

The students on my team are very deep thinkers, and they can look at the world with a critical eye, because they have been taught by 2 of the best teachers I’ve had the opportunity of working with.  Kate Jorgensen and Vera Naputi.  These 2 ladies have had a year and a half with this kids, and it shows.  When I look at their writing, I am amazed at what they produce.  They gain so much knowledge from the media-rich lesson which they learn through, and they are great at applying it to other topics and forums.   It makes me wonder what they will do if they have an audience outside of our classroom, one that responds to their writings and ideas . . .


By Snowded (Own creation, own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

  1. Joy Kirr says:

    I love the reflective aspect of this post – keep enjoying your ETMOOC journey!
    In the meantime, check out this comprehensive post of A.J. Juliani’s from today – – I’m going to use it to promote Genius Hour to parents who are skeptical. Genius Hour is my favorite time of the week, and I believe it is my students’ too!

  2. Jess Henze says:

    I was excited to see the plan for a 20% MOOC. I’ve already subscribed for updates. Will you be helping to facilitate that Joy? I’ll definitely have to sit down and talk with you about how you do it at EdCamp!

  3. […] posted On Rhizomatic Learning. Michael Buist posted Visible and Connected. @jhenze44 posted Inquiry, Google, Genius Hour… it all boils down to Rhizomatic learning. April Hayman posted her live notes. And Jillian Walkus posted Like Bamboo…, which although short […]

  4. […] love seeing my name ?) and followed the links to Kirsten Tschofen, Claire Thompson, Micael Buist, @jenze44, April Hayman and @Edu_K that Rhonda referred to in her post.   @Edu_K wondered “Can we […]

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