Why Connectivism is awesome

Posted: June 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

Two major points about why connectivism is awesome as a learning opportunity….

I am still working on my Lit Review…and yesterday I took the opportunity to check out an online “hangout” with “Connected Learning” The “discussion” was being hosted by Howard Rheingold and it was about Ethan Zuckerman’s work on creating cultural change through social media – I was there to learn about applying social media to my miniMOOC course (which I prefer to call a TOOF Tiny Open Online Forum)…

Anyway – I’m in the goolge hangout, for only the second time in my life, and Howard asks everyone “listening” to write in the chat box and tell them a bit about ourselves and why we are there….So  I did….and Howard writes back to me…tell me about the dates of your miniMOOC and I will help advertise it (crowdsource would be the correct word)….

Howard’s  book, Net Smart” is perhaps the most influential book in my Lit Review…and I just “connected” with him….in person! But it gets better…

In Howard’s book he suggests that “educators” interested in really learning about “what” kids are learning using social media for and what skills they are developing and what “leanring” is taking place should read Mimi Ito’s (Editor) book -Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=11889

So I just finished reading parts of that book….and Mimi was in the room as well!!!!

In fact, I said something nice about one of her comments!

The proof: http://connectedlearning.tv/ethan-zuckerman-attention-activism-and-advocacy-digital-age

The point is….connectivist learning brings “plebians” together with “scholars” and creates environments in which we can engage in peer discourse…and it is motivating and encouraging and quite frankly one of the most amazing experiences. When learners connect with other experts in their field, there is a certain “God” complex syndrome. We act all silly because we are in awe….then we might risk making a comment, which is sometimes commented upon by others and then risk being part of a conversation which is pure….acceptance….Acceptance for who we are as a person, acceptance for being ok with our “odd” passion for Educational Technology and acceptance for humanity as a whole- in that we can learn together…

So, not only have I been researching connectivism, my research “is” also connectivist and the foundations of the learning are connectivist to me as I experience learning in a new way. I created an individual project on MOOC’s, but it’s a mini open online adventure…. I am learning by doing, but also “finding” the learning that is already there by connecting the dots (or networks as George Siemens would say)….

Oh – I also chatted to Alec Couros today. Can I say enough about his help? He gave me some outstanding ideas on course design for a k-12 audience…we are in total agreement that some “tweeks” need to be made to my inital course deisgn….He also rocked my world by suggesting a wide variety of alternatives to “track” tweets and offer the RSS feeds and twitter tweets to groups. I can’t thank him enough…

And he also commented on the idea that – does this really need to be called a MOOC? Is it a MOOC? Not so much- so I am seriously considering the TOOF instead….or why name it at all? Just look for an audience (it’s all about the audience) looking for what I am offering – a free open online forum that creates a fun and engaging way to learn about digital footprints in social media today….

Randy LaBonte – another amazing mentor- also commented on the “name” – is it really a course? What’s wrong with calling it some kinhd of discussion or forum…? I have to make the course objectives clear- thta’s very important. As usual, lots to think about…





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