A Tale of Two Blogs – Week 4 Reading Response

I have to be honest. My responses to this week’s readings is very mixed and I’ll explain that in a minute. I’ll just let you know up front, as you’re reading this blog you may (hopefully) feel the mix of delight, frustration, and anger that I experienced from the different texts or you may, from your perspective, feel something completely different.

14651The Delight:

I loved Mike Caufield’s Simon’s Watchmakers and the Future of Courseware. He uses Herbert Simon’s allegory of Tempus and Hora to illustrate one of the critical issues in education: the conflict between the use of traditional, linear learning models and the emerging non-liner, subassembly learning. The company I work for is currently experimenting with “chunking-up” our learning processes to make them into smaller, more digestible pieces that support higher retention by learners and fit better with our business model and this discussion was a useful validation of what I have been doing at work for the last 12 months. Plus, I’m an amateur astronomer and am fascinated with the Drake Equation. It was fascinating to see how the equation can translate to applications outside of the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life.

The Frustration:

Our required reading, Davies and Merchant (2007) Ch8: Looking From the Inside Out: Academic Blogging as New Literacy, stumped me for the simple fact that it was a lot of great theoretical information but I was left without an ideas of how I can use/apply it. My approach to education is as a corporate L&D Manager in a company of more than 15,000 employees. We are a 24/7 business and, as such, we don’t have the resources to incorporate blogging into our regular learning practice. As a non-academic professional, networking via blogs has more of a limited value for me than an academic, K-12, or higher education learning practitioner would find. I need to explore alternate ways that blogging can provide value for me and my organization.

Additionally, as a relatively new blogger, I’m still coming to terms with some of the public/private nature of blogging and Davies and Merchant, instead of answering my questions, raised more that I still need to answer.

The Anger:

Sometimes you get what you go looking for. My previous interest-driven readings all seemed to be peppered with a “personality disorder” commonly associated with eccentric personalities, namely Schizotypal Personality Disorder. While eccentricity is more closely linked with what is called a schizotypal personality, the line between the personality and personality disorder merited further exploration since the line between them appeared so thin. That led me to Schizotypal Personality Disorder (STPD) by Out of the Fog. The page is the DSM’s criteria for the personality disorder. It’s all very matter of fact or so it seems. What upset was not the matter-of-factness. What upset me was the subjectivity of the criteria for the “disorder”. It reminds me of a kaleidoscope. Turn it one way and someone is “abnormal” and in need of treatment. Turn it a different way and someone is “slightly different” or “kooky” or “fun” and is someone others enjoy being around.

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