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Week 1 – why it is difficult to define connectivism September 18, 2009

Posted by adam1warren in Uncategorized.
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I’ve just listened to the first discussion between Stephen and George, recorded using Elluminate. I was disappointed that they didn’t make the most of the medium; I am a visual learner and really missed having any images or diagrams to help me understand.

After all that discussion I’m still not sure what connectivism is – and from some posts it seems some people managed to get all the way through CCK08 and still can’t articulate what it means. This of course may be one of the features of connective knowledge; that your understanding is  formed of this mass of connected ideas which are impossible to explain succinctly or precisely. This might be contrasted with the view that specific pieces of knowledge are clearly delineated and can be neatly transmitted via a lecture, web page or printed article.

I was intrigued by the suggestion that learning involves immersion in an ecology that enables connections to form. The key words here are ‘immersion’ meaning sustained participation and engagement, and ‘ecology’ which consists of the environment (information resources) and inhabitants (the people you engage with). This makes sense to me – I learn from the books, journals and websites that I read and I also learn from the interactions I have with others.

I would argue that interactions do not have to be two-way; I can learn vicariously by lurking in discussion forums or following a blog, for example. But two-way interaction enables feedback to take place, so that understanding can be checked and validated.

There is lots more to say about the discussion, but, hey, there are a hell of a lot of blogs to read so lets call it a night. Bye for now

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