Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Connectivism: just doesn't hit the nail on the head for me

So here are some thoughts on CCK11 for this first week - I've broken it down to both format and theory.

Format:
I like the fact that this is a distributed blog MOOC. It gives me an opportunity to see what people are writing on their personal blogs, in addition to the CCK content that they post. It's also a nice way of filtering information for me since I don't have a waterfall of information coming down on me, as it would have been if we were using a forum. At the same time, I lament not having a forum because I'd like to know what I am putting on the back burner or just ignoring (i.e. having a choice), versus not knowing what you are leaving behind.

Reading documents is actually quite easy for me, I do it mostly during my commutes. The media on the other hand is more challenging.  Flash is an issue on my iPhone, and the video interviews are something that I wish I had an audio-only version, this way I could just throw it onto my iPod and listed during my commute (instead of draining my iPhone's battery to stream it ;-)  )

Connectivism as a theory:
This MOOC comes at an opportune time for me.  I just finished a course in Psycholinguistics and we did cover cognitivism, connectivism, connectionism (and a whole bunch of other -isms), but we covered 4 weeks worth of content in 3, so it was quite literally a blur, so I am looking forward to exploring one concept in full.

Reading the introductory material, connectivism makes sense neurologically to me - stronger associations = better recall.  From a sociological perspective I have a bit more trouble with it.  One of the main questions that I have: is knowledge really knowledge if it doesn't reside in your brain and you can't access it readily?  If I need IMDB for instance to look up what movie some actor has been  in before (something that I knew but I have forgotten), is it really knowledge? 

By the same token when my friends ask me for tech help and tech support, something that has been occurring for years, can they be said to have knowledge of how to solve some problem when it is someone else that does the work?  Perhaps I am misunderstanding what has been meant by "the knowledge is in the connections", but I am willing and interested in exploring this topic further.
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