New Constructions for Understanding using Virtual Learning- Towards Transdisciplinarity

New Constructions for Understanding using Virtual Learning- Towards Transdisciplinarity

Barbara Truman (University of Central Florida, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2182-2.ch019
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Transformative personal growth is explored through use of advanced forms of virtual learning and application of concepts from systems thinking, presence research, and Transdisciplinarity. The result is a practice of a technology-enabled, embodiment of hope. When thriving is likely, the implications of increased individual and collective consciousness enables development of a fusion of Gemeinschaft and Gesselschaft. The harmonization of such a fusion of community and society creates a new form of society, where space, place, and relationships interact like a blended urban village. As communities shift to incorporate and extend the Arts and culture in this new Society, complexity is appreciated from its reciprocity with Nature. Awareness of selfhood and society is more integrated through Being providing new possibilities to co-create the future and transcend human limitations.
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People everywhere yearn to commune. An awareness and appreciation of selfhood is necessary to commune and share with others. Reciprocal sharing and appreciation are necessary to create community and imply an awareness of society. Communing also involves a spiritual dimension of hope and optimism that transcends wealth and social status. Across cultures, there is wide disparity of economic wealth, and yet, people freely learn together in some cases creating a learning community, the bedrock of society. Practicing mindfulness has been widely attributed to promote spiritual health and while digital technologies have caused greater human separation in some, on whole, these technologies have provided the basis for connecting more people continuously from most anywhere. The central question is how do we use these digital technologies to help us thrive individually and collectively? As media exposure from augmented reality becomes more common in everyday life, will our awareness diminish due to distraction or will we aspire to create new understanding through new forms of communication? Tuan (1997) said, “People tend to suppress that which they cannot express” (p. 6) and “Exceptionally talented people can live for art and science and go wherever they thrive” (p. 138). Will we create our own safe, virtual havens and dare to discover feelings that which are in us? And then, will we be open to share with others creating new forms of intimacy of understanding? If Tuan is right then educators have a role to play, “Feelings and intimate experiences are inchoate and unmanageable to most people, but writers and artists have found ways of giving them form” (p. 202).

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