Although the podcast (which was somehow not recorded because I had the device set for line-in rather than mic… I am quite mad about it actually) for this post explains this prerequisite for The Ripe Environment pretty well, I would like to further outline it for those of you who don’t have 15 minutes to listen (or who can’t imagine all of the things I would have said, had the microphone actually worked).
I would like to start by saying that I do not actually have any problems with conferences, meetings, or workshops. In fact, they are one of the premier places that The Ripe Environment can exist. However, my contention is that The Ripe Environment cannot simply stay in that space. It has to transfer over into the times when no one else is around. It has to transfer into the individual mind, so that your own mind is a Ripe Environment for Authentic Learning. I know that probably sounds a little hokey, but I believe that there are many ways of thinking things through, some of which are more productive than others.
On the podcast (which, once again, is only in your imagination at this point) I use the metaphor of class time and conferences being a typewriter. Conferences exist in one particular place and time, as does the typewritten words on a page. They cannot be copied and disseminated in the ways that a blog post or wiki edit can be. There is something quite beautiful about words existing in only one place and an experience only being a singular event. Even in the capture of the backchannel, live-blogging or streaming of an experience, the experience held in one time. However, the true learning happens when one reflects upon the process, upon the environment.
The Ripe Environment does not end when the session is over. It never ends. The learning extends over the boundaries when it is made personal. When the singular experience is built upon with an eye toward a personal set of circumstances. Learning occurs when a resource is appropriated for your classroom. Learning occurs when a link is made (hyperlink or a synaptic link) to a website or person. Learning is occurs when an e-mail is sent off requesting a follow up or an invite to a google document is sent out.
These moments are not held in time. They are ongoing. They make sure that the Environment stays ripe rather than withers.