Connectivism – relation with religious beliefs, opportunities and challenges

I really enjoyed George’s presentation on openness under Education.

He mentioned the tools that are typically used for open content, expression, creation, sharing, and aggregation in education, and how one could exploit those tools in open education as educators.

 George insights into the use of the tools prompted me to think about the religious beliefs that are around in the forum discussion of Timeless Wisdom.

How are the tools and technology being used in spreading religious beliefs? 

Religious beliefs are complicated and are easily associated with any connections – under connectivism.  Is this another niche area in openness?

The deepest tao cannot be expressed, it is a state of mind. That was learnt in my high school. “Tao that is told is not the tao. It is not easily understood”.

Being a Catholic (and a Christian) myself, I have my religious belief, and so I would treat tao as another way to describe the nature (state of mind) of act and people. 

Are there commonalities in connectivism and religious beliefs?

Is it true that the more one interacts or connects with others, the more one could reveal the “knowledge” of nature, and the more we learn in a network?  And will this result in distributed learning in a network?  To what extent is it true in theory and practice?

Do people spread their religions through “teaching” and/or “connections”/ “actions”?

Are there good “spirit” of nature and the “evils” in the connections?

This is my experience and observation:

Good ones include establishing weak ties that overcome space and time, making friends, communicating and listening, sharing and contributing to communities, spreading the news of peace and harmony, and great love”loving each other”.  And that as learning is distributed amongst network and the PEOPLE, we could appreciate each others’ thoughts with a deeper understanding going beyond any religions, races and cultural backgrounds, age and sex.  We are just born to be natural learners/teachers who are ready to serve each other.

Evil ones include having floods of emails telling me that I have been given sums of money by a widow, and I could get those money by return emails, by revealing my personal details.  This has never happened to me before I joined the course.  Or I am the lucky one, now.  Also the various attractive spams advertising products or services, the deadly evils spams who lure me to their “evil sites” by praising how well I have done.  What a hypocrite from those evils!  And could we stop them?

So there are opportunities of socialising, learning through interaction, growing of faith and hope spiritually, but also challenges to our daily life if too much of ourselves are exposed to the public eyes, when we are invaded by those evils of adult themes, violence, indulgences, spams etc.

If this happens to me, how about others?  How about the educators?  How about the K-12 students?  How will they react?

Are they ready for the opportunities and challenges?

Would it be better be “choosy” in connections?  How could one avoid the spams and evils?  Has technology added or reduced our security of “education” and “life”?

How do you see such timeless wisdom realised in the midst of religion, politics, education through connectivism or network learning?  Is Connectivism a solution towards wisdom?

In summary, I am hesitant in introducing connectivism into or applied in religions due to the complex nature of human and the associated ‘arguments” or “beliefs” underlying the religions. 

Have we understood enough about all religions? 

Is politics and religions still the taboos in education? I don’t know the answer. How about you?

Do these illustrate the importance of learning and education (under connectivism in particular)?

Will religious beliefs overcome some of the side effects (evils) due to the (improper) connections?

8 thoughts on “Connectivism – relation with religious beliefs, opportunities and challenges

  1. Hi John,

    Interesting observations of the discussion within ‘Timeless Wisdom’.

    Perhaps connectivism is an opportunity to break down the barriers of ‘tabu’ subjects like politics and religion. It could open the doors to understanding different religions and perhaps being more tolerant of each others beliefs.

    Nothing makes your faith stronger than sharing, explaining and, at times, defending your beliefs (Romans 10:10; 2Corinthians 4:13; Hebrews 13:15).

  2. Hi John

    Like Ruth and probably Ariel too who has written much about this on his blog, I would see connectivism as a means for religious people to share their message with the masses.

    I am not religious, but from what I know of Christianity, apart from spreading the word, I don’t think connectivism would serve it’s purpose that well. I see Christianisty as dependent on groups, mutual responsibility and accountability, duty, personal service, forgiveness and so on. A network (which is how I think of connectivism) can work independently of all these. My understanding from what Stephen has said that a network is intended to work independently of all the emotional aspects that groups infer.

    So I think there are things about networks and connectivism that are at odds with Christianity and maybe other religions as well, although I don’t feel qualified to comment on those.


  3. Thanks Ruth and Jenny,
    Many thanks for your comments. I seldom use the media to promote Christianity due to various reasons as mentioned. I believe in free choice in religion, and would be interested in knowing how technology will influence religions and how religious beliefs could be spreaded in good faith. I have watched masses broadcasted on Youtubes, and found them impressive. I would consider myself a tool of my God, if I were to spread His Good News. But I would be humble to listen to any other views on religion. Thanks for your patience, and I hope God bless you all.

  4. Interesting comments on religion. I am writing a blog post on this matter which I hope to have finished and published tonight. I think all religions should be respected. I don’t know about networks and groups, I think there is emotion in networks too, unless the networks are machines. How do you separate emotions from people? I don’t think you do. I think they are alwasy present. That is our nature, but it is not the nature of machines or computers. We are different, and network theory for computers is one thing and network theory for people is another. Hope you can read my blog post when I have it done.

  5. Thanks for your comments. I read your post with interest.
    We are human and so we have emotions embedded in every message or post. Will connectivism be more aligned with network theory for people? How would emotions relate to degree of connectivity?
    I will re-visit your post to learn about religion.

  6. It’s more likely that you are receiving those spam emails because of a religious list you are on. I don’t get them but my husband is flooded with them. As he spends extremely little time online, I’m sure the spammers actively sought out clergy mailing lists.

  7. Hi Ruth,

    Many thanks for your regards.
    I am not sure about this, but I wasn’t in any clergy mailing lists, for sure. However, since I have joined an eduwiki (I won’t disclose which one), tens of spams kept on flooding my inbox. As a Catholic and Christian, I could only pray that I am secured…

  8. Pingback: #Change11 The Yin and Yang in Life, Education and Learning | Learner Weblog

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