Trying to find a place for an introvert in NGL!

Apologies for my absence over the last week or so but I have had the need to visit family in North Queensland and I have also been struggling a little to overcome some hurdles with this course.  This is something that I have been thinking about these last few weeks as I work to get my head around constructivism and NGL.  And in particularly how it fits into my world.

In my search for answers I came across this table from the Open Educational Resources of UCD Teaching and Learning, University College Dublin and I thought I would share it.  It explains perhaps why I see value and potential in constructivism but am find greater difficulty in tackling the more social constructivism structure of NGL.

Constructivism table







Constructivism and social constructivsm seem to have some notable difference. In reflecting on Annelise’s post  ‘Being an extrovert in an online world, I find myself wondering what role personality type might then play in an individual’s comfort levels and self-efficacy in approaching a more social constructivist approach to learning.  And it turns out I am not alone!

In my desire to better understand whether or not there is a connection between the two I came across Catherine Lombardozzi’s post –  On being “QUIET”.  

In this post Catherine refers to a book written by Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.  From her reading Catherine reflects on her own approach to teaching and the learning experiences she creates for others and identifies, what I believe, are some useful considerations when working with more introverted personalities.  While the list is too extensive to present here, it is well work a look.  In her article Catherine confesses to being a more extroverted personality herself, and despite her list of considerations and all that she reading regarding the needs of more introverted personality she still prefaced her suggestions with the statement:

Engaging with others is critical to learning – and despite Susan Cain’s argument to the contrary – I think it is critical to creativity and innovative thinking as well.

There is an innate danger, I believe, in this kind of thinking.  Some of the most creative and innovative people this world has know identify themselves as introverts.  Mahatma Ghandi, Barack Obama, innovators such as Albert EinsteinBill Gates, Steven Wozniak, Larry Page and artists such as Salvador Dali, Picasso,  JK RowlingSteven Spielberg and Angelina Jolie.  And this is only the tip of the iceberg!

Perhaps the words of Susan Cain herself say it best and which come with such with high praise from Bill Gates, the great introvert himself, who names Susan’s Ted speech one of his all-time favourite TED Talks

Food for though anyway!

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Susan Cain welcome to my Team of Experts!



Lego - Wonder Woman_cropped




Image by: Julian Fong (original image has been cropped)Creatice Commons_by-sa




13 responses to “Trying to find a place for an introvert in NGL!

  1. Catherine Lombardozzi

    Thanks for taking a look at my post; I’m glad it got you thinking. I thought I could clarify that I am not at all saying that learning requires people to be extroverted, but I do believe that learning often requires interaction. Introverted people certainly interact with others, which can be done in “quieter” ways – one-on-one conversations, letter-writing, blogging – ways that are not as overwhelming as larger group discussions and collaborative teams can be. Several of the people you mention as introverts are also mentioned in “Powers of Two,” a new book by Joshua Wolf Shenk, which demonstrates how important paired collaboration can be to creativity. (I am looking forward to reading it; this far, I’ve only read previews and heard interviews.) I am introverted, but I am also constructivist – and these are not incompatible. My extroverted friends may socially construct knowledge by regaling a crowd and pinging off their responses or enjoying a lively debate at the bar in a conference, while I am more likely to socially construct knowledge with careful listening to panels and engaging in long one-on-ones in a quiet corner of the hotel lobby. While introverts may really benefit from a lot of alone thinking time, they also benefit (and, in my view, must have) interaction with others to deepen their learning; what’s different is HOW they get that interaction. IMHO


  2. Hi Catherine – thank you so much for taking the time to clarify and help me better understand where you were coming from in your post. I certainly hope my comments did not offend, as that was most certainly not my intent. Rather I am grappling with the notion of ‘learning in public’. To me writing blog posts, sending a tweet or even commenting on other’s blogs seem to me to a highly ‘public’ and I am tending to approach it in the same way that I would a large public face-to-face forum. I found it interesting that you consider it to be a more personal exercise, a point reiterated by my lecturer in this subject. It certainly is a shift in perspective for me…or perhaps I am just showing my age ;)! I have added the ‘Powers of Two’ to my reading list on your recommendation. As I am clearly I am an evidence-based learner, anything that will help me develop an understanding of what Networked and Global Learning (NGL) means to me and my world would be most welcome.
    Thank you again for taking the time to help increase my understanding of how social constructivism works in the ‘real world’ for ‘real people’.
    On a slightly different note, as part of this course, we are encouraged to develop out own ‘team of experts’ people we follow or add to our Personal Learning Networks (PLN), with your permission I would love to add you to my list!


  3. Catherine Lombardozzi

    I was certainly not offended, and responded because you took the time to comment on my post and I thought it important to return the favor. These days, there is less of that kind of back-and-forth happening on blogs, and I miss it dearly. I think that’s why I see blogging as more private… even though the possibility exists that others will engage in discussion with you, it seems to me it’s more of an exercise of externalizing my thoughts for my own benefit. It is “in public” though – and I am aware of that when I write as well. I see blogging as a way of projecting part of myself into the world, and I am careful to project what I want others to see. Reading other people’s blogs, even though I may not comment, is an important part of my learning as well – other writers get me thinking and bring forward ideas that should be on my radar screen. That is the real advantage of the internet and of seeing many people “work out loud” from their corners of the world. I will be honored to be part of your “team of experts,” and I’ll add your blog to my own Netvibes (blog-reader) collection as well.


    • Great to hear from you again, Catherine. I must confess to being quite chuffed by your contact and am thrilled at the prospect of possibly maintaining our contact. I have taken some time to investigate other posts on your blog and it seems we have a lot more in common that I first thought. In addition to this subject, I am presently undertaking the construction of a Literature Review around the current research into online or blended learning for students in K-10 and whether or not these approaches do in fact improve student learning outcomes for students. Interestingly, the research seems to have some significant implications for teacher professional development and learning design and coincidentally, this was the field that I had targeted for my ‘Design-based Research Project’ in this subject. I shall be following your posts with interest and hope that we might touch base again sometime in the future regarding your work in ‘Learning Environment Design’. I also wanted to let you know that I tried to follow your link to the ‘Guild Academy’ but was unsuccessful. Not sure if I have to sign up first to read about the course. Thank you again, Catherine for your sharing your insights with me, they really have made a different!


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