Listened #71 – Community as the Curriculum with Dave Cormier – Modern Learners from Modern Learners

What would the classroom look like if the community itself was the curriculum? That’s the question Dave Cormier answers in our 71st podcast.

Dave Cormier discusses all things rhizomatic. One idea is to use copying as a means to focusing on other things.

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Did someone say … #Rhizo20

It makes me wonder what is pertinent in regards to rhizomatic learning in 2020? How has the context changed? Is ‘rhizomatic learning’ atemporal?

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Dave, I wrote a reflection a few years ago on your role, which I still think stands:

Coming back to Rhizomatic Learning, I am therefore left mulling over how Dave Cormier has successfully ‘managed the MOOC’. I must be honest that the word ‘manage’ may be slightly misleading, inferring incorrectly a sense of power and control, I think that instead what the course has done is instigate learning throughout. In some respect this has now been coordinated by everyone, although Dave has ‘set’ the tasks and facilitated the communications and conversations. However, as was demonstrated by +Mariana Funes‘ post, much was left to the community to continue the learning.

If I were to add anything, it would be your particular patience and persistence to tease ideas out.

As time has past, I often come back to my various experiences from the Rhizo MOOCs. In today’s day and age of impact and effect, I wonder what I carry on with me. I think it would be a certain softness and openness to difference and opportunity. Thinking back on some of my interactions I feel that there were times when I was so naively confident about some things. I think my participation was useful in not only informing me of differences and nuances, but also giving me the opportunity to learn some of these things through the act of doing.

Bookmarked Rhizomatic Learning – a somewhat curious introduction by dave dave (

I apologize for leaving you without a definition or a clear theory of rhizomatic learning, however useful these things could be. Theories, like definitions, help create a shared common language. As we reify language into chunks it creates a shorthand that allows us to communicate faster and more effectively. It also means that we are less likely to misunderstand each other as we have a shared ‘meaning’ for the words that we are using. I am not able to provide this certainty. But with this loss of certainty of meaning there is freedom. Feel free to take this into your own hands and draw the conclusions that work for you.

Thank you Dave for this curious introduction. There is something about definitions that promises too much and maybe delivers too little? A while back I went through my contributions to #Rhizo14 and I kind of cringe at some of my comments. However, a part of me thinks that maybe this misses the point, that rhizomatic learning is a verb, rather than a noun?

I was intrigued by your reference to the impact and influence of technology on learning. Here I am reminded of Doug Belshaw’s work in regards to digital literacies. Even before ‘digital’ is added to the equation technology has had a part to play.

Before books went digital, they were created either by using a pen or by using a printing press. These tools are technologies. Literacy, therefore, is inextricably linked with technology even before we get to ‘digital’ literacies.

I am also taken by the subjective nature of your account. This reminds me of Ian Guest’s account of ‘nudges’ that led to his research.

Personally, my own learning has led me assemblages. See for example Ben Williamson’s work with Class Dojo. I wonder about this as an approach and how it might differ from rhizomatic learning?

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