- Draw a square and ask her to write something inside this square. (Heavy problems-smaller square)
- Set a time limit. Ask her to write three sentences in ten minutes. Set a countdown clock.
- Give her a start. "To live a good life, you have to know maths". Something that she can argue against.
- Write a suggestion yourself, but do it in a bad way, so that she would want to change it to something better.
Imagine the same girl, refusing/unable to take part in social situations and connect to others during lunch break. (Whatever reason.) What sometimes will help is this:
- Create a clear center for lunch break activities. A round table with a coffe brewer for example.
- Don´t wait for a spontaneous discussion about the weather to take place around this table. Instead, create a center, one concrete thing, around wich a discussion can take place. It can be a card game, a camera, a drawing, an article, an ipad, a riddle, ...
- Set a time limit. "I ask you to stay here for ten minutes, then you can leave if you want."
In other words, to create something new, that you can share with others, to contribute, you sometimes need a starting point, a center and frames. (Like in computer games)
Not all people need this, to get started, but some do.
Giving the girl (and others) a simple starting point and a clear center like this does not mean she will get stucked there. On the contrary she will dare to move around, connect and create new centers if she knows where to start and if she has a place to return to?
My point is, I do like the freedom and the lack of center in CCK11. However I think it would be possible to include more people in, and deepen the discussion if a SIMPLE center with ONE suggested starting point was offered.
I am thinking one youtubeclip or one text or one question a week around which a discussion can start along with the necessary announcements (like time and place for sessions) and why not also the highlight of the past week. Like the http://cck11.mooc.ca/ and http://cck11.mooc.ca/newsletter.htm in one, but if possible, simpler, more like a dot. Why just not a simple central Blogger blog combined with a public Google Reader and gRSS hopper and search gadget? Like a first door to the different discussions, a facilitators PLE, and a starting point/model for creating your own PLE.
For more disucussion about a center or not, in a MOOC, watch the recorded friday session.
*This is not evidencebased facts. I just say this based on own experiences as a teacher. Sometimes, of course, this will not help at all, maybe even make things worse. Sometimes it works better just to listen to the girl and wait for her to come up with something her own way.