Human element in connectivism – a response to Jenny

Hi Jenny,
I love your article, emotional, moving, and full of warmth.  That’s why I prefer to talk to people, just like your mum, though I am much younger than her.  Ommm.
May be that’s the “human element” lacking in the e-connectivism, that human touch, which I think is most important for human. 

Remember that most of us love to learn – that passion is not derived from any technology, though technology is an enabler.

I am more inclined to connect with others who share that passion, just like your mum and you. 

When I was young, at my early twenties, I worked with others as volunteers.  We have about 60 plus volunteers, most of them in their late teens, high schools leavers eager to devote their efforts in contributing to society.  I was the coordinator who coordinated 3-4 other volunteering associations.  And we organised an event with 15 game stalls.  I was even invited to the radio to talk about the event.  It was a huge success.  I also assisted the Community and Youth Office in running various programs for the poor (young kids).  We conducted surveys on the family.  Based on the information we collected, we ran cartoon show, visit to softdrink company, excursion and game stalls.  Those were the days without computers. 
And we were able to connect with others with that spirit of compassion, enthusiasm.

However, nowadays, we are using emails, blogs, and all the tools to commuicate, but we are pretty uncertain that we are even safe enough in this e-world. 

That’s why we need to seriously consider the impact of this technology on our spiritual and emotional growth and development, and not to neglect that a sense of concern is more important than that professional touch.

That’s how I feel.
I really hope that this could be included in the course – the art of connectivism, how we could become a more compassionate person.


Reflection on Groups, Network and Collectives and Learning

George’s perspective is focusing on “What type of network it is?” as you would consider groups, networks and collectives are all under the umbrella of networks.

While Stephen’s perspective is focusing on properties of groups and networks, and based on his observation and analysis, he could see the differences.

For some of our “group members” here at the forum, I think they have seen some of these differently:

Here are my observations:

1. We are in a “group” in this forum, but we seem to be practicing in an atmosphere of networking situation.  We don’t have a formal group leader from amongst the participants except you and Stephen.  We are encouraged to have peer moderation, an ideal of leaderless group, where everyone learns most freely.  Sometimes this practice may not appear to be in congruence to the research findings: you could refer to the paper by Terry Anderson on Collectives, Groups and Networks, where forum is a tool typically used in group.  May be we are practising a wholly new approach that are not typical in the conventional forum where a formal moderator is assigned to each group.  thoughtful

2. We have learnt about the merits and demerits of group and network, and it seems for me that networking provides far broader perspectives, as you could learn outside your group by networking with bloggers, using collectives, or be connected to the participants in the facebook, etc. So, participants in this forum would likely be in a group, (reading and listening/watching Elluminate/Ustream etc.) and networking and even using collectives at the “same time”, because this is necessary to ensure we could get enough knowledge to come back and discuss.

3. Each of us has a view and perspective.  Some of our perspectives may not match due partly to the angles we see things: that’s why I am saying that George and Stephen are right, because those are their perspectives, with a different angle of seeing groups/networks, based on observations and analysis.

My reflection

1. Learning to me means that I am connecting my brain to the information sources, or your brain, or the network (internet) and absorb such distributed knowledge – be it know “what” and “how”.  Unless I could apply my knowledge learnt through such a process, it could remain just a shallow learning (know what by “knowing say the facts and information”).  What is emphasised so far is to go for deep learning (know how) through both the group discussion (this forum), by critical questioning and reasoning (Socratic approach), reflection etc. and networking with other bloggers, outside sources. 

2. Learning in the networks means the network may have the “know what”.  The various sites in the internet could provide “facts, knowledge, and information”, but that these are stored and distributed throughout the web sites, blogs, wikis, etc.  A group of people (a special type of network) can tap into the network to collect the information (say in a wiki), but learning in this case would only occur if the brains of these people of the group are connected to the sources of information.  And again the deep learning will happen if the group have both the know what and know how as mentioned above in individual learning.

In summary that’s what we meant by emergent knowledge (new and developing).  And that George, Stephen and your perspectives are all important.  And that’s the main difference between connectivism and all other learning theories.

See for my perspective and explanation on groups/network/collectives

My next question is: How would you convince your colleagues to try networking, if they are so used to group working?