CCK08 – Short Paper 1 – Position on Connectivism

Well, it ‘s time to write the first short paper. I take this assignment as a welcome advice from the facilitators because, despite I found nothing interesting to say regarding the issues of weeks 2 and 3, I now need to verify where I am..
So, my position on connectivism…
Easy! I feel literally immersed in connectivism! But it’s a feeling, something “instinctive”, as Andreas says.
Perhaps it is natural, since I am a professional in networking, communication, education. It’s easy for me to be connectivist, while I navigate through my RSS feeds, write a post on my blog and comment on some blog friends. I’m a quite skilled user of a lot of technological gizmos that allow me to feel, almost physically, the flow of reticular knowledge to which I feel to belong.
But I wonder whether and how that feeling can really become a theory of learning and whether and how this theory can be validated and extended to all.
And yet I wonder: should people be aware of connectivism to adapt their behavior to it or is it an implicit theory that works anyway?
Thinking back to some principles of connectivism (mostly from Knowing Knowledge) I wonder if these are universal and can be applied in all contexts: for example, I’m pretty sure that the multiplicity of views, which I think is always an element of great importance, is not so well received everywhere.
Try entering a strictly hierarchic organization (e.g. the military…) and there you will see that the dissenting views are not so well accepted … Does it mean that in certain contexts learning does not happen? Or that there are context in which connectivism does not work?
The ability to learn new things is more important than what we already know: I identify myself in this definition because my life has always been oriented to news, to know more, but I wonder how much this ability to learn is actually determined from what we already know?
By reducing the importance of “static” knowledge, maybe we are in danger of losing the ability to access the dynamic one? For schools this is a crucial point: the growing unease of teachers in front of the (often naively) connective learning styles of young people is a proof. Neverthless, schools should give that base on which anyone could build his/her own dynamic learning future paths.
More: sharing seems to be another key element of connectivism. But even this is not a universal value: there are areas where the confidentiality and secrecy are more important than attitude to sharing which, in contrast, is not encouraged.
Finally, I wonder if connectivism can exist without technology. In fact, social networks have existed since mankind appeared on Earth. The difference nowadays is that technologies can eliminate the barriers of space and time. But at the same time they are creating other kinds of social and cultural obstacles. To what extent therefore does the digital divide affect connectivism?
As I write these brief notes I realize that, after all, I have not yet a precise position on connectivism but still many open questions. Perhaps the course will help me to answer, but I feel that it is more likely it will raise more questions instead, as indeed seems to happen to other participants.. Is it another property of connectivism? 🙂

2 Responses to “CCK08 – Short Paper 1 – Position on Connectivism”

  1. 1 Pierfranco Ravotto Ott 4th, 2008 at 10:45

    Hi Antonio
    very interesting indeed.
    As far as “I feel literally immersed in connectivism … But I wonder whether and how that feeling can really become a theory of learning …”, I think we have to distinguish between “theory of learning” and “theory of teaching, or – may be – between “theory of spontaneous learning” and “theory of voluntary (organised) learning”.
    I’ll try to write something on this matter.

    The pronunciation of “Ascolta questo post” is very terrible!!! :-)))

  2. 2 Carlo Columba Ott 4th, 2008 at 17:33

    Hi Pierfranco, in the same way we could distinguish “learning object” from “teaching object”. I think it will be a very meaningful task!

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