Please Use Other Doors

Please Use Other Doors
When I saw this sign on a door to a department store, several thoughts crossed my mind. First, it would make a nice selfie. I snapped a couple of quick ones, and with some editing I think the one shown makes an interesting picture.

My second thought was more practical: why can’t I use this door? Why do I need to use particular doors? Why isn’t this store “open” from as many directions as possible?

To tell the truth, that was the extent of my thinking at the time. But once I registered for this Connected Courses course, and especially after the introductory hang-out, I began to expand the meaning of “Please Use Other Doors.” One thing discussed in the hang-out is that there are multiple ways to organize participation in an open online class, not just one right way.

Similarly, there is no one right way for our students to enter into learning of a particular subject or topic. There are Other Doors through which they enter. Those other doors might be related to the individual learning styles, or prior preparation, or lack of prior preparation, or level of literacy or numeracy, etc. These are things we as teachers generally can’t control but must work with and work around.

I think most in this Connected Courses environment would agree that we should use the technology available to enter through Other Doors into the content we teach. Blogs, textbooks, chats, forums, libraries, Twitter, movies, television, radio, video, audio, presentations, lectures, group work, role-play, drills, and many more doors are there. Are they open? Or are they labeled “Please Use Other Doors?”

I like to enter through other doors. Using the same door all the time is boring. Trying other doors, other ways of doing things, is mind-expanding and may lead to new relationships, new ways of viewing the world,  and new learning.

Please Use Other Doors

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4 Responses to Please Use Other Doors

  1. Mimi Ito says:

    I love the metaphor of “other doors.” It resonates with how I like to think of connected learning as having multiple entry points that are keyed to the interests and temperament of the learner. When I’ve observed how young people get immersed in interest-driven and connected learning, some get introduced through peers, some enter through a personal passion, and others through academic institutions. If we can have support a wide range of entry points into connected learning, I feel that we could capture the engagement of more young people.

  2. Susan says:

    Love the photo and the metaphor!

  3. sensor63 says:

    I think your door post is profound in its implications.

    Multiplicity of doors to open. Multiplicity of doors which remain closed to us.
    Multiplicity of doors which are kept closed to us.
    Multiplicity of doors which are kept hidden to us.

    Multiplicity of reasons why people open, are unable to open, are unable to get through, are prevented from opening, are unable to see, are prevented from seeing doors.

    The multiplicity of spaces into which doors may lead: corridors, stairs, means of transports, private spaces, cages, open spaces…

    I am reminded of walled gardens and miniature doors…

  4. byzantiumbooks says:

    I appreciate the responses to this post. Other doors are opening; connections are being made; and I look forward to the interactions to come. Keep monitoring #ccourses and!

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