Connectivism & Connective Knowledge

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September 9, 2008

Highlighted Resources

Time Change for Wednesday Session
Important: We've made a change to our Wednesday (in our part of the world) schedule. The elluminate session will be held at 11:00 am CST (see conversion here). The event will be held in ellumnate (link here). Sorry about this last minute change. If the time doesn't work for those in Australia and Asia, please let me know ( and we can try and arrange a smaller discussion group at a different time). CCK08, , September 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Connections, Learning, and Ptolomeus (CCK08-W1)
Nice post on the question of whether we 'grow' or 'build' new learning. Diego Leal cites John Medina's book Brain Rules (I'll have to get that one) on learning: "No defined structure, no progressive storage. Just the creation and recreation of connections between neurons. So, the process seems to be closer to something growing out (or expanding?) than to something being built." Here's the Brain Rules website, if you want to have a look. Diego Leal, .Edu.Co.Blog, September 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Hungarian CCK08 Group
If you are Hungarian, or speak Hungarian, you may want to join this group and have a hand at translating (or just reading) Connectivist material in Hungarian (you may have to join Google Groups to view this one). If you are not Hungarian, then you can peek in if you're interested or give this one a pass - again, the idea of a Connectivist course is that you sample only that which is interesting to you, leaving the rest to other people. This is a perfect example of that. Kulcsi, Google Groups, September 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

But What to Do with All Those Connections??
Day one and over 6000 hits for CCK08 on Google (and they seem to all be related to this course). This reveals a gap for educators. As educators, we have imported most of our understanding of networks from other fields - notably sociology and mathematics/physics. It's time to begin a more explicit, and educationally centered, exploration of networks. How, for example, do we make sense of 6000 hits? Sure, some are from Twitter, others are short blog posts, and still others are tags. But some are detailed reactions to connectivism. We are missing even basic tools to make sense of this amount of information (data visualization sites - such as IBM's ManyEyes - are a start, but are still not well utilized by educators). Michael Chalk, , September 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Connectivism: Theory and Application
Mike Bogle reflects on his experience from initially encountering a concept to progressively deeper understanding: "In doing this patterns and relationships between ideas and concepts start to emerge and we become better able to appreciate the implications of the subject matter. Over time our overall understanding expands and we are better equipped to make connections that were beyond our comprehension initially. Thus begins the process all over again." Different contexts have different connection needs. If I'm in a strange community and looking for a place to eat, a connection (the concierge for example) is all I need. I have low information needs and simple directions from someone with familiarity of the area is all that is needed. However, when I'm trying to understand a complex subject - such as physics - I need more than a simple connection to the information. I need to engage with the nuances of the information, to participate in experiments, and so on. In both cases, a connection is a start. But our needs and the context in which those needs arise influence the degree of engagement we pursue. A state of knowing is a particular state of connectedness. Mike Bogle, , September 9, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

The course moodle forums - in particular the introductions forum - have been rather hectic, making it a bit difficult to extract key themes or participate in all of the discussions. The skeptic thread has generated a significant number of responses and is certainly worth a quick skim: "I'm here because I don't believe in "Connectivity" [I believe she means connectivism] which sounds like a new religion. I think skepticism about a lot of the medicine-show shilling around new media is more than in order -- it's necessary to combat technocrats who want to weld their world views into new technology to take over in undemocratic fashion, waving the "legitimacy" of a flash mob or an "wise crowd" to put themselves in power." Catherine Fitzpatrick, , September 8, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Comparing Connectivism: Reactions
Thoughtful responses to, and questions about, yesterday's post comparing theories of learning. Some question whether connectivism is actually something new (unique attributes were presented here: Week 1: What is Connectivism). Others wonder if connectivism is only about technology (it's not). Or how it differs from constructivism. I keep returning to the primacy of connections in learning - whether seen as biological (neurons connecting), conceptual (how concepts are related), or social/external (the networks we form with others and with information sources). Understanding how and why connections from as well as the contexts in which networks optimally develop (and their key attributes) is important for educators. George Siemens, , September 8, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]


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