Like Learning to Ride a Bike

Course six of my Masters, and I have Mendeley, Feedly, Diigo and of course this blog all set up ready to go! Hooray! Go Me!!

Then nothing…

more nothing…

a bit of procrastination (or make that a lot of procrastination)…

a bit of Facebook 

…and a bit more Facebook (it’s important to utilise social networking in NGL! lol)

Mind you, I had completed all of the readings, however, I had no idea how to utilise these tools to participate fully in the course.

After a few more hours of experimenting with the apps required for this course, I finally feel as if “I have crossed the threshold”.

I feel in this instance, it is similar to learning to ride a bike. 

I watched my three year old son do this recently.

One try, one fall. Another try, another fall. Yet finally, after numerous attempts, something clicks, and he’s got it!  

After this experience of “finally getting it” Which I also talked about here, I re-read Kligyte (2009) and his exploration of the “Threshold Concept”.

He characterised the Threshold concept in relation to NGL as:

Troublesome; alien, incoherent or counter-intuitive.

Discursive; incorporates an enhanced and extended use of language 

Irreversible; is transformative and changes the way in which the discipline is viewed

Luminality; involves messy journeys back and forth the terrain

Integrative; reveals connections among different aspects that previously did not seem to be related.


I feel like I can attest to each of these characteristics. 

In using the tools for NGL I found I spent countless hours moving back and forth across messy, complex terrains. I tried to post on one site, failed. Tried to post again, this time getting a little further, but failed. Each time, I’d gain a little ground. 

Discursive: I found the terminology and metalanguage hard to grasp. After reading many articles full of NGL jargon, but at this stage in my learning, not participating in NGL, I was unable to contextualise the meanings.  I feel there is still so much to learn, however, as I participate as part of a community of learners, I feel the meanings will come. 

Irreversible: I am so grateful for this one!!! I am so glad that now I have learnt that NGL is not as much knowing, as knowing how, where and who. 

I guess it’s like riding a bike; you can never “unlearn”.

So i guess it is here; I shall pick up my bike and get on with it 🙂





2 thoughts on “Like Learning to Ride a Bike

  1. Back in the dim dark past I used to teach programming. Programming contains a few concepts (e.g. recursion and pointers) that I used to call “brick-wall concepts”. Trying to understand them felt like banging your head against a brick wall. A lot of pain and effort with no real change, but if you banged away long enough you eventually broke through the wall. After that you just couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about, it just made sense. I’m starting to see a lot of resonance with that here.

    Congratulations on busting down that brick wall!


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