Rabbit Holes, Boats and Minecraft Summarising 12 weeks of IDEL

Welcome to my exploration and summary of 12 weeks of IDEL.

Once upon a time, in a land far away, lived a rabbit.

The rabbit was a curious one. She liked to hop around and explore new places. Adventures were her favourite thing.

One day, she saw a big, inviting, adventure loaded rabbit hole.

She stuck her head in to see if she could spy what lay at the other end....

.... but all she could see was darkness.

Adventure was too tempting for this little rabbit. She hopped in, hoping for the best.

Where would the rabbit hole lead? Did it lead to the other side of the burrow? Was it a path to a different world?

Little did she know, a long journey lay ahead with many challenging lands to traverse, but the rewards she sought lay at the end of the path....

.... or was it the beginning?

A community - a group who share or have a particular characteristic in common. We are all studying on IDEL together, are we a community yet?

A week for learning about each other but mostly about our selves. When faced with a series of readings focused on different topics and encouraged to engage with an alien group of people, how do we react and why?

Cultural and social backgrounds influence our reaction. Lessons were learned on snap judgements and opinions, thoughts and beliefs were challenged. But overall, a collective understanding was developing. We are all different and valid and should respect one another. We should be mindful of communication and considerate towards opposing views.

By understanding how we in react to situations and becoming more reflective and aware of our thoughts and beliefs, we can better understand why we think this way and be critically challenged.

This was the start of the formation of our community. Alien beings thrown together were encouraged to interact and as a result challenged one another. We broadened our thoughts and began the journey of learning to learn from one another.

Technology and the teacher. The 'why' week.

The week when everything was too much. My head was filled and buzzing with the amount I read in such a short space of time. Everybody was responding on the forum really formally and cleverly and not much of it made sense. What on earth is a 'twitter bot'? What if I just don't get any of this? Why am I here?

Then I read the Selwyn article and found a particle of hope. I think I get it! I understand what is being asked of me, I see how it fits. I realised that fear had made me into a lurker, snap out of it Rachelle! Learn to paddle your own canoe!

Diving in to Critical Thinking for the first time was an eye opener. Something that seemed so foreign and unachievable, was one of my favourite weeks.

Exploring Bayne's article and considering the terminology of Technology Enhanced Learning and it's use in Higher Education vs it's use (or lack of) in the commercial sector clearly shows where the drivers are for the not thought out terminology. Clarity needs to be sought on the HEA's defenitions of this where it considers TEL a synonym for elearning, and a way to increase student experience.

Thinking from a different perspective, Tracy's networked learning focuses on praxis informed by theories and values to display a system with scope for improvement rather than enhancement, could this be a more holistic approach?

To celebrate my new found discovery that I can in fact critically analyse, I had an elephant party debrief!

Open Everything. But is open actually open?

This week saw me explore the idea of openness in relation to experiences I have had of MOOCs. Openness inititatives are to widen access to learning and training and effectively remove barriers by making learning accessible.

Brown and Adler set the scene of why there is a need for openness in education, making assumptions about individuals ability to self-direct and learn without frameworks or guidance of a teacher.

Bayne, Knox and Ross discuss perspectives masked by assumptions in open education and highlight the need for openness and willingness to engage with teacher contact for OERs to be successful.

With teacher involvement, could open still be open? Should it?


Earn, Issue, Display, Understand.

Motivational cookies to craft powerful learning experiences.

How does encouraging this openness, cause closures?

Is their longevity in badges? Will they ever replace a certificate?

Big Data.

Lets get metaphoric. What you see is a data pool. Each tiny droplet of water represents a single piece of data or a data droplet. Droplets can connect to create streams. They can be added, or taken away. But once they're there, there will always be a trace.

LARC-ing Around.

We move some of our data droplets to a pool, this one is more active than the last though.

This week we looked at the LARC, which I found to be challenging. On the surface it appeared to be intrusive and judgemental. I reflected that these feelings stemmed from a lack of context or understanding of why it was done, when it was done and how it was done.

I questioned whether I would change my behaviour through out the course had I known I was being watched. I enjoyed having my thinking challenged on this as my first reaction was very narrow minded.


Minecraft played a big part in my journey through IDEL. I started in week 1 with no understanding or comprehension of why anybody would want to use it. I finished in week 12 with it firmly tucked in my technology toolbox, for use on a regular basis. Through out the weeks, I enjoyed my 'Minecraft Challenges' where I encouraged my nieces and nephews to take control and become a teacher for a while. We enjoyed working together, they enjoyed critiquing my work and their feedback reminded me the importance of being a child, or seeing the world through their eyes.

Spaces. Oh look. A playground!

Spaces was another of my favourite weeks. We explored our comfort zones, metaphors, moodle spaces, Minecraft spaces, learning spaces, community of inquiry and our routes.

I expressed a liking for structure and was happily challenged on the actual perceived need of this and what, in my building metaphor, I actually see as the structure.

I entered a new world, everything was topsy turvy. I got lost. I found friends. I learned from the journey.
My journey. I covered a lot of ground but ended up exactly where I started.
"We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time."

T.S. Elliot, "Little Gidding." The Four Quartets


Anon. (2015). Technology enhanced learning (TEL) toolkit. Retrieved October 8, 2016, from https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/enhancement/toolkits/technology-enhanced-learning-tel-toolkit

Bayne, S. (2015). What’s the matter with “technology-enhanced learning”? Learning, Media and Technology, 40(1), 5–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2014.915851

Bayne, S., Knox, J., & Ross, J. (2015). Open education: the need for a critical approach. Learning, Media and Technology, 40(3), 247–250. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2016.1113991

Brown, J. S., & Adler, R. P. (2008). Minds On Fire: Open Education, the long tail, and Learning 2.0. EDUCAUSE Review, 43(1), 16–32.

Hodgson, V. E., De Laat, M., McConnell, D., & Ryberg, T. (2014). Hodgson, V. E., De Laat, M., McConnell, D., & Ryberg, T. (2014) The design, experience and practice of networked learning. London: Springer. Jones, C. (2015) Networked Learning: An educational paradigm for the age of digital networks. London: Springer.

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Rachelle O'Brien

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