A response to Mia Zamora's call to lure the lurkers with guilt free learning repasts.
Isn't it more likely that those who lurk will need special help to engage? #CCourses is going to involve a lot of hands on hardware/software/self-hosting work. Is it more or less likely that folks will jump in late to that 'situation'? I suppose it depends upon how you characterize the average lurker. Are they beginners who are reluctant to show their ignorance? Are they autodidacts who enter when they want something and leave when they have gotten it? I have always advocated the openness as a profound value, but I also see it as a bit euphemistic. How open will this course actually be for a n00b. I mean, you can put the food down where the goats can get to it, call it food for all, but that doesn't mean it is really open. So many open questions here. Declaring it a guilt free zone is a great flourish and encouragement is one of the most important pieces of facilitation in a course like this, but access is always for the privileged. I know this is a much larger issue, one that you didn't intend to address here, but to be open you not only need truly open initial conditions. Not sure ours are more than very partially open. I am really drawn to Ta-Nehisi Coates' experience with learning French. Anyone can learn French, right? It is totally open for anyone. Just ...do what? This video really brings home for me the burden of openness and of its dear friend, privilege: http://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/379544/the-joy-of-learning-french-part-deux/
That's the complement part of my comment. Here's the compliment part:
-taking back 'lurking' as a positive trait, like curiosity.
-driving fear from the digital space, thanks Saint Patrick Zamora
-saying out loud that lurking is valued
One more thing: I can't prove this, but I think that lurkers are the dark matter and energy of the internet. They make up most of the invisible mass of the Internet universe and we are only beginning to know who they are. They are way more than the marginalized ancillaries of what we will do on #ccourses. We need to find more ways to connect to their nodes. I think in the end that what appears to be an important and large hub, connectedcourses.net, is really another node in the larger scheme. I think unveiling our connections to the lurkers is the future of learning. Removing fear is only part of that equation. Extending 'philia' in concrete ways, I would like to see more of that. And I would love to discuss further how we might go beyond putting the guilt-free buffet out as a way to transform the dark energy of the Internet.