CCK08 – Week 1 – A day of ordinary connectivism

I have to admit: I don’t like theoretical discussions and definitions.  I love stories, indeed and I think that often most concepts, even if difficult, may be better explained through storytelling.

So, this is a story about connectivism: even though it’s only a small log of my starting of today’s workday, I apologize for its lenght. I reflected on that event and found that it was possible to map this activity with some properties of connectivism.

Here’s the story.

This morning, around 7.30, I turned on my PC and checked my e-mail. Among others, there was a message from Maria, a colleague of mine at LTE. She said she received a request from Gianna, a teacher (maybe one of the participants of our teacher training courses…) who wanted to know how to work with her pupils on a cartoon video from YouTube. Gianna wanted to subtitle or add balloons to that video. I suppose Gianna was asking to Maria because she knows her and hoped she could help her, since Maria is part of Gianna’s personal network

Well, Maria in turn thought to ask to me. Why? Maybe because she knows that I’m quite more expert than her on those Web 2.0 stuff… and of course, I’m part of Maria’s network (not of the Gianna’s one, though, I don’t know Gianna at all)

Actually, I realized that I only roughly knew how to make the requested work. Anyway, I decided that I was able to give an answer.

First of all, I remembered that YouTube has recently added an annotation feature, maybe I read it in a post from my GoogleReader feeds (i.e.: part of my knowledge network supported by technology). So I started my reply for Maria with this first info, that came directly from my internal network (my brain).

I added one more info that I know very well: it’s also possibile to use DotSub for subtitling videos. However, this implies to be able to first download a video from YouTube and next upload it in DotSub. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to download a video from YouTube, but equally wanted to provide a complete reply.

It was time to activate my own external network: I was almost sure that Alberto, a blogger whose feed I subscribed, often blogs about YouTube, videos and similar stuff. Normally, I didn’t care so much about these posts but I was pretty sure that a quick query in my Google Reader had helped. I made a search in that specific feed but I found no resources about how to download from YouTube.  However I found another resource I didn’t have notice first: there is a web site where you can directly add bubble to any video, without need of download-upload anything! It’s named bubbleply, I quickly tried it, found good and I added this notice to my response. This is clearly an example of serendipity, caused by the mix of personal and resource network I looked at.

The end? No, of course I still wanted to complete with info about downloading from YouTube. So, if it’s true that “learning can reside in non-human appliances”  😉 I thought I could have find some info through Google. I searched simply “YouTube download” (actually, in Italian). One of the first results was an article from a blog authored by Salvo, an italian guy that I know for his reputation as an expert (again my personal network at work, this time useful for the reliability of the information). He suggested to use the web site for this task. Quick navigation to keepvid, and I was able to complete my reply for Maria.

At 8.02 I sent my reply message and I guess she forwarded it to Gianna as soon as she read it.

Bored by this story? I can realize that 🙂

Neverthless I argue it’s a good example of the very connective nature of the work of most of us. Work or learning or …existence? Actually, in this case, for those of us who live in the net, where is the difference?

Another question: where do the knowledge I produced during that half hour resided? It appears clear that it aggregated from a network, made by:

  1. my internal memory (about new YouTube feature and DotSub),
  2. my contacts in the net, a mix of human and resource network (bubbleply, I never was been able to discover it without my connection with Alberto),
  3. the networked resources offered by the Web (how to download from YouTube).

The role of technology in enabling this network is very evident, too.

Finally, think a bit to the Maria’s role in this story: we must point out that she was only a node, she acted as a router, a knowledge router. She actually didn’t know the answer, nor she was able to add any content, but her “existence” was absolutely essential in order to pipe that piece of knwoledge from me to Gianna. Neverthless, Maria had a peculiar skill: simply (simply?) “to know the right person to whom relay this question”. I argue it’s not so easy to find so efficient human routers… 🙂

Well, was it an “early morning connectivism” example?

5 Responses to “CCK08 – Week 1 – A day of ordinary connectivism”

  1. 1 bruna Set 13th, 2008 at 15:30

    Our lives are a series of stories or our life is one big story connected by…what…our experiences.

    Thank you for your story this morning. It is a great example of how a network can work. Rather a living network.

    I always tell my students that the fastest way to an answer is through an expert. Now how you contact the expert can be a challenge. There is no simple way. I say this because we have so many ways to communicate and many people have their preferred method of communication ranging from a phone call to texting to email to ftf and many variation in between. This is when you know the expert. What happens when you don’t personally know the expert? Then you reach out to your personal network perhaps we can call it the first tier and then you can’t see what actually happens from there but your first tier turns connects to unseen multiple tiers.

    You have shown us what happens when you received a request/message/notification from one person because you were, I think, in their first tier network. It’s quite magical, isn’t it. What I really like about your story or any story really is that concepts become real and are alive. It’s so much easier to understand a concept when it based in an example that is understandable to your audience.

    Saluti da Chicago!!

  2. 2 Italia Castiglione Set 13th, 2008 at 18:50

    Dear Antonio,

    I also think that narration is a powerful tool. Thank you for your story; it was great.
    It had a generative effect making me think about my personal network and in how many ways it is connected.
    I enjoyed drawing a map showing all the relationships, places, weak ties and strong ties. Amazing!

    I am glad to meet you again!


  3. 3 mrsdurff Set 14th, 2008 at 1:10

    I like your story – it sums it all up in a neat package and is more interesting than a textbook. It’s interesting that everyone has a story – where those stories intersect must be what is meant by connectivism….

  4. 4 mrsdurff Set 14th, 2008 at 1:33

    I like your story. Everyone has a story to tell and the interconnectedness of our stories is, I think, what is meant by connectivism.

    technorati tags: CCK08

  5. 5 andrew Set 14th, 2008 at 5:33

    i enjoyed your story very much — i believe however that when ;what is in your head; ( as knowledge) gets transfered to a piece of software/hardware it becomes information (resides ‘there’ as infomation) and when the person who connects with that through applying that information (like add value) it becomes once again ‘knowledge’.

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