I have written previously about my journey from novice to node in OpenLearning ’17. Today I had a back to novice moment and ironically it happened just before the speakers I was working with discussed liminal space. There I was in liminal space myself, grappling with new-to-me technology. I tried to take what I already knew into that space and apply it, but it just didn’t work. This wasn’t what I knew; it was new and I didn’t understand how to put the puzzle together.
These moments of unknowing engender empathy for our students. I remember what it’s like to feel unsteady. It’s uncomfortable and frustrating. I want to get past it as quickly as possible. I try what I know and discover that my strategies don’t work in this environment that is new to me. I don’t know what else to do. And then help arrives (thanks, Gardner!), a guide by my side, and I know it will be all right. We get through the problem at hand, but I still don’t know what I should do. Tomorrow we’ll replicate the scenario and I hope I will begin to understand what I need to do so that I can go it alone with confidence.
Update: It’s “tomorrow’ and I think I get it! Liminal space is uncomfortable, but what’s on the other side feels good!