sábado, 4 de octubre de 2008
CCK08 - Paper 1: "My position on Connectivism"
Well, I have not a "position" really about the idea of connectivism. If it is or not a new learning Theory is not the most relevant for me. (OK,that´s my position, of course ; )
The strength in the connectivist idea is the concept of network. It is easy to see that the network idea in "broadly meaning" is a very old and used one. The information networks were very important for the polices of all modern states for example. The relationship between the networks idea and the computer technology is not so old, but also not a new new one. Trebor Scholz in his essay "A History of the social web", a basic reading for me in this course, gives several examples of authors and thinkers who writing since the birth of the computer about social network online. But the connectivism has in the idea of network a new concept of knowledge. S. Downes speaks about it in his post: "Types of knowledge and connective knowledge" when he says that "connectivism is a new type of knowledge". That means a radical new point of view. We have not only to see then the connectivist idea like a new approach to what is and how works knowledge learning, but to think in an "all", in the whole wood and not only in the trees (nodes). The knowledge exists in the network but not in a passive and permanent form, not like content, and that is why "when you impact that network in some way, the connections between the objects in the network change". And then I guess the knowledge has to change too. That is for me the new and the strength in the connectivist idea: the emphasize of the network in the sense that G. Siemens gives to it in "A brief history of networked learning".
How this emphasize of the network in connectivist affects to the learning experience in the "real life" is a difficult topic. If we accept the connective knowledge (and I do ; ) is necessary to think how this knowledge evolves in a society where the WWW is giving to the people the technical capacity to create and join networks all around the world. (That is a logic and propositional conclusion, I know).
Facebook, MySpace, Orku, Twitter, Blogger, Delicious, etc. All this "new" Internet tools permits to the users to construct networks and to traverse those, and this ability is that connectivist learning in words of S. Downes.
This perception of a qualitative change in the nature of knowledge is in relationship with a historical process of technological "progress" of the Internet. It is the people who are/were changing their type of network with the use of the "machine". It is the mix and therefore a new reality in the communications networks and in the power of knowing and the capacity of learning. And here is for me the weakness of the actually connectivist point of view: to try to be a learning Theory in "classical" sense. That doesn´t make sense in my opinion, because if you accept that exist a new type of knowledge and a quantitative process with a finally qualitative change in the human social life, then it is necessary to think in a new idea of learning. If the connective idea of learning has to be different. It is here where I see more problems to speak about a new Theory. That is why I wrote in my last post in this blog the quote of Robespierre, not because I like the fanatical Robespierre, but because it is always the same problem with the new revolutionaries ideas: Do you want a revolution without revolution in the way of thinking?
Maybe we have now to try a more practical approach to the learning and teaching in the new context of the web. Less theory and more speaking about how can we use the networks way of thinking to learn and teach "nodes", and that in the actual real context of an institutional world (I like the ideas of I. Illich about deschooling the society but I can see it now only like a positive utopia, not like a reality around me).