So the warnings were true about it being overwhelming at the beginning. It’s not that the ideas are inaccessible, it’s that there’s so much stuff, and I’m not sure where to look/land – I’ve got :
- this blog
- the moodle forums – I read/post there.
- google alert set up for cck09 – this feeds into a block on my igoogle page
- the Daily by email and i’ve subscribed to the rss in my igoogle.This includes content from Stephen’s “harvester” , which collects bits and pieces that others have tagged and he weaves these together with comments. I like that piece.
So there’s quite a bit. You can spent a lot of time wandering and wondering what’s being missed. this might be the point. keep wandering and wondering. wait for the stuff that resonates with you to emerge and then leap on it.
In the Moodle forums, I found a classmate (network mate?) kindly summarized the characteristics of a network (vs. other things, like groups) from Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge text by Stephen Downes:
- Diversity: The process involves the widest possible spectrum of points of view, there is interaction between people who approach the matter from a different perspective.
- sounds good. sounds like the internet. except sometimes i find comments on some news stories and blogs so cringetastic and wish people would shut up. but it’s true; they’re there, in the network, and they can share their perspectives. and i just need to avoid reading comments on cbc.ca and stuff like that
- Autonomy: Individual knowers contribute to the interaction according to their own knowledge, values and decisions (as opposed to acting at the behest of some external agency)
- this reminds me of the discussion around lurking we had in the elluminate kickoff. I’m a fan (legit peripheral participation, being shy, being afraid of looking like a dork), but Siemens’ view is if you lurk, you rob others of being able to meet you where you are (I’m paraphrasing). I am rethinking my position on lurking in light of connectivism – if we lurk, we rob the network. bad.
- Connectedness: The knowledge being produced comes from an interaction between the members (not from an aggregation of the member´s perspectives)
- I crossed out the idea of production, but the point is there – knowledge comes from interaction. all of us are smarter than any of us. check.
- Openness: There is a mechanism that allows a given perspective to enter the system, to be heard and interacted with others.
- sounds like web 2.0 tools. and a lot of other technologies before that: stone tablets and books and newspapers, etc, etc. I think it’s worth noting the role of technology in the rise of this theory, but not get all hung up on it.
So I guess we have a network. And because it’s a new network, it’s confusing because it’s establishing itself. and I take back what i said before about not being drawn to the moodle forums – I really am today, and I guess it’s because it’s the most obvious gathering place at this stage of the game, it’s where the network is most easily found.