Friday, September 26, 2008

CCK08 Forest, trees, paths and a bit of clarity

Today's session at brought along wonderful gifts. Thanks guys!

I saw a bit of clarity. I understood that one of the things that was confusing me was that I was not clear about which was Stephen's view and which was George's. Certainly the gray hair in George's avatar got me thinking that I had also confused their identities!!! As mentioned in the live session, I was walking through paths of confusion. The second one was the "distribution" issue.

I think I got the point, I may be wrong. While knowledge resides in the connections or forest, learning resides on the individuals or trees. Hence, knowledge is distributed across the networks, knowledge emerges from those connections, while learning is the capacity to build those connections and use them for our own purposes.

In this picture I show what I found:

The conversation was abundant, I felt it lighter and I could engage with it. It was about time :-)
Nancy White wrote, in her particularly rich descriptive manner, the way most of us feel in this non directive course. Her comment gave way to a description of intelligence. Intelligence is being understood as the ability or potential to comprehend, achieve, understand, function and absorb huge amounts of information. David Vidal came up with with the question: what is first, the egg or the hen?

That in turn lead us to... What is value? This point will be reviewed later on in the course but for now Stephen mentioned two aspects that define the value of something or someone:
1.- Goodness. Is it helpful?
2.- Measurement. Cost or number of units.

This other picture shows a bit of today's conversation

CCK08 Where does Connectivism work best?

Yesterday I came across Mike Bowle's interesting post.

"Thus brings me to my opinion on childhood learning and Connectivism.
The two can absolutely work together, and do it well; but not in traditional,
highly structured educational systems. In my view, Connectivism works best in learner-led environments, and the most learner-friendly environment of them all is the home".

My response:
What you post here is not traditional either and I find it very true. In Mexico, not many people can afford to educate their children at home and most of the schools are traditional, controlled, marks seeking environments. It is sad but true.
In my work I usually encourage parents to integrate their child to society instead of forcing them to get good grades. You see, I work with kids that are different. Regardless the medical term with which those kids are labelled, they are intelligent and want to learn at their own pace, in their own way with their own creative resources. Of course this is not allowed at school but their parents still need to send them to one. My proposal to them is to teach them to beat the school system while encourage them to learn what they are interested in learning.
The second best learner-friendly environment of them all is the Internet.

In an earlier post, also from Mike, I found another bit of information that got me thinking as well.

"As we delve further into the course, I think it’s critical to differentiate
discussions on the theory itself from those regarding implementation of the
theory within a specific context. Both matters are very important ones to explore, but they are - at the core - very different questions".

I do not see Connectivism applied at schools in the future. If the theory manages to get around the evaluation and curriculum points it will stop being Connectivism.
In practice, it will depend on the openness of the schools and teachers, I do not see it in a near future. At least not in Mexico. As digital literacy is very low here
I do not see Connectivism blooming online with Mexican teachers or students.

I highly recommend reading and discussing Mike’s posts on his blog.