In your opinion, does the conversation offer matters, what you have always missed in interaction? Try to remember the lively, fresh and creative learning and collaborative situations. How often have you participated in that kind of working together?
Digitalisation has changed our interaction and communication. Sherry Turkle (Professor at MIT) has been studying digital culture and communication for more than thirty years. We communicate all the time, but we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection. (Turkle 2015) Digital devices for learning, teaching and collaboration are continuously being developed better and better. However, the digitalisation should not minimize the possibility of learning and working together, face-to-face. Turkle writes in her book:
“Face-to-face conversation is the most human – and humanizing – thing we do. Fully present to one another, we learn to listen. It’s where we develop the capacity for empathy.” According to Turkle our passion to technology has led “to a crisis of empathy that has diminished us at home, at work and in public life.” She says that the remedy, most simply, is “a talking cure”. And I liked to add, not just any kind of talk.
People see quite often face-to-face or digital conversation so superficial that it’s no use to talk at all. They prefer to be quiet. I think it’s time to start practicing, without presumptions, exceptional conversation, dialogue, at schools and in work places. The impact on learning and collaboration could be dramatic. The reward would be tempting and great: you would learn better, collaboration would be easier and more fruitful in shorter time than usually. The target is high, but can be reached. What is it like, and how do people communicate in the new way of conversation?
Turkle (2015) emphasizes that conversation is “a cornerstone for empathy as well as for democracy; it sustains the best in education and in business it is good for the bottom line”. Empathy and equality should definitely be the guiding stars which we need to follow. How can we learn this conversation?
(My plan in the future is to write the blog texts mainly in Finnish but also in English.)