Sunday, October 05, 2008

Wondering CCK08

There seems to be some focus on the Connectivism “course” as opposed to the concept. These posts and discussions around prior learning, bridging, and prerequisite literacies cause me to wonder if I have developed misconceptions about connectivism--
“… I think there’s a third dimension, prior learning, which plays an important role. While few of us know anywhere near what George and Stephen do about the topics of the course, neither are most of us novices. Many of us are familiar with social networks, concept maps, and learning theory, for example. Therefore we have some prior understanding in which to ground our thinking, leading to some intelligent comments and questions.

I am considering two possibilities.
a. The level of discourse correlates directly to the mean level of prior learning. If you put knowledgeable people together, the conversation will be good.

b. Discourse level correlates inversely to the standard deviation of the level of prior learning. I think of this in terms of knowledge/learning gaps. My imagined typical case is the standard freshman survey of X where the instructor knows quite a bit and the students often know very little.” -Connected
“Prerequisite Literacies
I think this kind of course needs a very specific description of what people are goign to need to know in order to be able to participate effectively. This might also include go forward models in terms of how people might go about doing that. For those of us who participate in online communities all the time it wasn’t terribly difficult, but i get the sense that more online participation would have resulted from added scaffolding.” -Dave Cormier
“I think, rather than a problem of prerequisite literacies, the challenge with the course organization, is that may of the learners were exposed to bridging strategies long before the course began, and therefore, were able to quickly adapt and develop their own learning environments. “ --Ingenuity
My sense of connected learning is that each of us, novice and expert learner seeks connections to deepen learning and participation in a network. I’m wondering if that network isn’t the richer for diversity—novice and expert. I’m currently involved in a new emerging community of practice in which novices and expert learn together—it’s an exciting community whose leaders will emerge and I daresay, some of them will come from the initial novices. (Wenger) The novices in the community have little prior learning, prerequisite literacies, or bridging strategies in the specific content of the community, but my sense is they are learners and because they know how to learn, they are beginning to network and grow.

I deem myself a novice in CCK08; I don’t have the prior deep learning in learning theory, semantics, and philosophy that is evident in many posts. I am, however, an “expert” learner (Bransford, How People Learn) and expect to return to those readings which are extremely challenging to me. I wonder if I misunderstand connectivism, as I thought that with the knowledge in the networks and the autonomous nature of learning, that novice and expert learners are welcome to network, connect and grow as best suits each one.
“---, we need to equate “learning” to “learning” and leave the discussion open to all forms that it may take. “ --Tech Ticker
Mike Bogle’s phrase resonates with me (forgive me if I’ve taken it out of context)-- my networks and connections have grown and my understanding deepened, not in ways perhaps of others in the course yet meaningful for me. I’m wondering if what I’ve experienced isn't encompassed by the openness and autonomy of connectivism?
"What some learners fail to see is the value in the processing or navigating of the chaos, and this can be a huge stumbling block to their learning. …George Siemens believes self-organization in the face of chaos and making connections between sources of information is vital in today's climate of rapid information development and change.” --Sarah Stewart

Isn’t this quote from Sarah one key to understanding connectivism? Despite my novice status in the “content” of this course, I’ve created my “niche”; I’ve navigated the course and made connections in the way that best suits me, at this stage of my learning-- That holds value for me and has permitted me to get so far as to be able to wonder--

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Grant said...

Hi Lani

I enjoyed this post as it resonated with my attempts at understanding the concepts of connectivism as presented. I haven't approached this course from a theoretical point of view but rather as a practitioner attempting to find new and different ways to incorporate the potential of technology into effective teaching and learning practices.

I am constantly surfing this huge network searching for posts like this one which assist me to clarify my thoughts.

injenuity said...

Hi, Lani, thanks for linking so many posts and synthesizing them for us! I think we will continue to see two discussions, one about connectivism and one about the course. There are a number of us very interested in how this course will affect the future of online learning, so you will probably notice us evaluating and observing every chance we get. I hope it doesn't distract from the course content, but I feel it is an important discussion, and one that needs to include the students.

Bradley said...


I am with you brother! I am getting lot out of this beothe form instrucotr and fellow learner. I too lack a education theory background, but have lots of practical experience in Web 2.0 implementation situations.

I too wonder about the prior level of learning that is required before there can be no "scaffolding". I critique Connectivism becasue of this lack of direction in my first assingment. (

Thanks for putting these thoughts into your blog as I was too busy to do so and instead wrote on other subjects.

Bradley Shoebottom