Friday, September 12, 2008

Connectivism Oversimplified

It must be the start of the school year. You can tell because I haven't blogged in a while. Meanwhile the super-course on Connectivism and Connective Knowledge being facilitated by George Siemens and Stephen Downes has started in the vicinity of as well as a few thousand other online spaces. One of them is a Moodle where the thread Skeptic has gained a following (you'll have to log in to access the thread A devil's advocate has healthily questioned whether reading thousands of emails of introductory nature has been worthwhile, is this then what is meant by connectivist knowledge, and therefore does the theory of connectivism have any substance or is the emperor being exposed to be wearing no clothes. Along with dozens of others, I was drawn into responding as follows. I thought I'd post my comment here so as to have SOMEthing to say in my blog, which I can then tag CCK08 and see if it surfaces somewhere.

My post ...
Trying to couch my thoughts in some kind of parameter I guess I'll start with process and product. The desired product is to get some pearls from the discussion but to attain that you've got to go through the process of trolling a lot of seabed. Put more palatably, in order to learn from someone, you've got to get to know the person and establish what each of you wants to learn from one another. Kind of hard when there are almost 2000 people who've suddenly landed in an online space, but let's negate that and say that these 2000 people had no contact whatsoever with one another. Clearly in that case they would learn nothing (from one another). It seems to me that what connectivism describes is how important it is that the connections be made in the first place and from that, assuming these are intelligent people with something to contribute to the discussion, someone's gonna learn somethin'.

It's up to each of us to decide how much energy to devote to this means of learning as opposed to switching off the computer and reading a good book, say. But to me it's not just whether each message contains some information I can use, what's of value is to see how the organism flows in synch, how pearls in the mix might be aggregated and made to surface. And of course to reflect on what's happening.

I'm not sure this posting will help YOU to understand what you are gaining from this course but writing it has helped ME to couch what I might learn in my own personal framework, and if we juxtapose a lot of such frameworks, what would we have? A scaffold??

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