Responding to circumstantial stress

The mash-up of DIY and DIT learning that I'm proposing as PLE 2.0 makes it possible for breakdowns in learning to be self-diagnosed. One example is the handling of circumstantial stress that disrupts the functioning of a Personal Learning Environment. When a learner is rising above the situation and responding resourcefully, the stress can be identified and alleviated on a Do-It-Yourself basis. When the learner gets stressed out, the pressures can be addressed on a Do-It-Together basis. The system crash is averted or recovered from quickly.

Both PLE 1.0 and 2.0 share DIY advantages over educational delivery systems that cannot respond to the circumstantial stress of individual learners. Unlike imposed curricula, DIY learners own what they have chosen to explore, comprehend and put into practice. They can frame their stress as something "they are doing to themselves" or "choosing to challenge themselves by exploring". They are not entangled in "learned helplessness" or vendettas served by a disruption in their learning.

These DIY learners are also in control of the timing and pace of their learning. They can call a timeout to reflect on their stress, identify hidden choices and learn from the stress itself. They may also take the time to lower their stress level with any of the interventions recommended by health care professionals. The DIY mode of learning with a PLE frees the learner of being 1) confined to the time slot of the conference session, class, screening or webcast, 2) obligated to show up on time, 3) over-committed to excessive calendar entries, 4) compromised by schedule conflicts and 5) falling behind progress schedules. They are free to "chill out whenever they begin to freak out".

PLE 2.0 offers the additional advantages of DIT learning without the burden of additional transaction costs, institutional overhead or formal systems. Together, learners can recognize when learning has stopped happening due to circumstantial stress. They can diagnose the symptoms and respond to the underlying dynamics. The lack of resourcefulness of the stressed-out learner is not a problem -- it's an opportunity for the others to relate to their colleague, respond to the situation and learn from the experience too.
  • Others my notice symptoms of stress (fidgeting, furled brow, vacant expressions, awkward movements, halting speech etc.) or disrupted learning (insistence, persistence, resistance, indifference, etc) before the learner is even aware of a problem.
  • Others may initiate pattern-recognizing conversations about the current circumstantial pressures (global, political, economic, production, deadline, budgetary, peer, conformity, social, etc.) that may have induced stress reactions and inhibited learning.
  • Others may have the effect of alleviating stress by simply showing interest, becoming more understanding and responding resourcefully to the friend in need.
  • Others my provide an example of acting powerfully, confidently and effectively that gets the learner to "snap out of it", "lighten up" and follow the leadership example provided.
  • Others may contradict the fear-based rationalizations that justify elevated hyper-tension by reframing the circumstances as opportunities, useful lessons or potentially valuable experiences.
  • Others may redirect outbursts that inadvertently misdirected anger or took frustrations out on others, -- to realize a more respectful and insightful outlook.
  • Others may moderate stress and restore learning by putting the learner's mind at ease, reminding him/her of personal strengths and seeing the good she/he is getting accomplished.
When these functionalities of DIT components in PLE 2.0 take effect, it is very likely that circumstantial stress will be accurately diagnosed and responded to effectively. Any disruption of DIY learning will be quickly alleviated by Doing-It-Together.

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