Identity under connectivism or network learning



As I have highlighted in another thread (connective world), identity is important in network learning.

Would we want our coming generation to become a virtual human being without identity?  And that “such e-citizen” are not trustworthy?  Do we want to educate our children to connect and communicate with others with integrity (trust, honesty, openness with respect)?  Do we wish to see each other connecting with a fake identity?  There may be good reasons not to expose one’s identity.  But in the long run, why?

Can we trust any survey done when it could be done with fake identities?  Can we trust scientific study based on digital networks which have fake identities?  I suppose any e-surveys can then be made to serve its purpose – with fake results.  Fake-in-fake-out!mixed

I can claim to have done all researches and surveys on connectivism, just like the cloning research conducted, which was later found to be fake.  Why?  Is it because human are selfish?  Looking just for fame? Or is it a joke to the whole world?  Is it really education?  Is that learning?

Would it be disastrous to see this happening?  

Take a look at the current terrorist pandemic, is it a result of terrorist networks?  How could “human” be identified within such network?    Are we really secured under a network learning environment?

Connectivism – my personal development resources


Under connectivism, apart from the technology that I have used (as an enabler) and the various connections made,  I have made use of other related personal development resources to enhance my learning. 


If you are interested in the leading of a powerful life, Stephen R. Covey could be a good read. 

He mentions about Conscience (modeling), surrounded by Vision (pathfinding), Passion (empowering), and Discipline (aligning)- the four roles of leadership. I found the pathfinding and modeling concept quite similar to Stephen’s learning model.
I have interest in Stephen Covey’s 7th and 8th habits for years.

Emotional and Social Intelligence

I also found the books on emotional intelligence and Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman very good read. To me, those concepts on the human relationship leverage the effects arising from connections in connectivism.


Other further interesting theories include: Self-Determination Theory
It highlights the focus on professional development by creating an environment that facilitates intrinsic motivation.

How do you find the above resources?

1. What sort of resources are you using?

2.  How do you use those resources?  For reflection?  For application?

3. How do they add value to your connections?

What is needed for research?

“Connectivism can draw much from research in related fields such as neuroscience for understanding biological basis of learning, AI for how neural networks function, sociology for external connections, psychology for conceptual formations, systems thinking for understanding how the entire system of education relates”

Thanks George for your insights. I agree.  approve

There are both opportunities and challenges:

Opportunities: smile

  1. Reinforce the theory of connectivism – especially a deeper understanding of the concepts and principles governing connectivism.
  2. Inform authorities and stakeholders (i.e. higher education in particular) of the theoretical framework of “emergent” connectivism
  3. Introduction of psychology for conceptual framework and connections would provide a leverage to connections, and a framework in understanding the dynamics of both strong and weak ties (at all three levels – neural, conceptual, external/social).

Challenges:wide eyes

  1. Some critics viewed connectivism as a blend of different theories – including behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism, social constructivism, complex and chaos theories, constructionism,..and are similar in certain ways to Actor Network Theories (ANT).   How would such research be “integrated” given that each theory proponents have their own views on those theories?  Extending those theories into connectivism would need to be considered under specific context.  Will the findings be inconclusive?  And I am not too sure when it comes a “virtual world” whereas some research findings may not be reflective of reality (will provide evidence based on url in coming threads).  How would one overcome that?
  2. Which is more important in research?  Applied connectivism? Empirical research?  Cross discipline research? 
  3. Will any of the researches be funded?
  4. Given that such researches may be based on individual initiatives (such as a PhD thesis), competition (in funding) rather than collaboration may arise.
  5. If the researchers are to form networks, will copy right (or plagiarism) be an issue?  How original will such researches be?
  6. How will peer review be coordinated?  Is it through instititutions or networks?  How will credentials be achieved?
  7. It’s difficult for novice to weave through the different theories, and any research on those other areas create conflicting views in connectivism (which may turn up to be a good idea). 

I think getting research done in those areas is not too difficult, as there are already many PhD candidates doing research in this connectivism area.  Getting coordinated results and colloborations amongst researchers would be the most difficult part of it.  A “network” or “community of practice” approach would likely yield better result.  But would it be easy to coordinate such efforts?  Networking amongst researchers is never an easy task – note the “autonomy of scholars” and “islands of researches” that has happened in the past.thoughtful 

Even by now, only you and Stephen are the main pioneers in this area, would we need more people to join?  But again, this will add complications to the theory, as it is evidenced in this course, towards a learner centred approach, and as an emergent learning theory. 

I am still learning…blush

Your comments please.