As shared by George, Connectivism is important because:
Connectivism finds its roots in the climate of abundance, rapid change, diverse information sources and perspectives, and the critical need to find a way to filter and make sense of the chaos. As such, the networked centrality of connectivism permits a scaling of both abundance and diversity. The information climate of continual and ongoing change raises the importance of being continually current. As Anderson has stated, “more is different”. The “more” of information and technology today, and the need to stay current, forms the climate that gives roots to connectivism.
The importance of learning lies with the connections. And that we must stay current with up-to-date information.
In this The hidden influence of social networks
Nicholas Christakis shares the insights he gained through the study of social networks:
*Different structural locations have different impact on your life – So in CCK11, how you participate in the network would have different impact on your learning, and the saying of: “the more you get involved, engaged with others in your networks through participation or contribution, the more likely you would get what you want”. In order words, the more active or engaged you are in the social networks, the more likely you would influence others or be influenced by others in the networks or communities.
*Our Network Position is Partially Heritable – To what extent is this true when learning in and with social networks? May be those more influential people have got genes inherited from their parents, and so they would hold positions as comparable to their parents that are also influential. I would like to see more evidences in case of social networks with a learning focus – like CCK11
*Networks have values – and there are different kinds of social values associated with learning through social networks. My experience with learning through social networks – Facebook and Twitter and that in CCK08, 09, CritLit2010 and PLENK2010 do enable me to appreciate the values with social networks, by having virtual networked learning, and sharing of ideas and collaborating with others on projects (via wikis, blogs etc.).
*Connections Matter –
reside in the interactions of atoms, and so type of connections would decide on their “strengths”
The ties between people matter – that means that strong or weak ties with connections amongst people in the networks do affect the sort of learning of individuals and the networks. Also the learning that emerged through networked learning is likely greater than the sum of its parts (i.e. individual learning). How would these be translated and reflected in our learning with CCK and PLENK? In theory, different (sorts of) ties do matter in learning, and so could impact on the sort of learning each of the participants are expecting and experiencing in networks.
I would need to dig deeper into the research findings to uncover these propositions on networked learning.
* Spread of good and valuable things in social networks matters – so the spreading of happiness and altruism are important in social networks. I suppose the spreading and sharing of valuable artifacts and learning in CCK11 could make a difference in individual and social learning.
In summary, connections matter. By studying social networks, we could have a better understanding about how emotions are shared or spread in social networks. We could also better understand other phenomena in social networks which are associated with ideas generation and spreading (memes), education development, business and market share and failures, economics, health issues and the spread of diseases etc.
How about your experience with connections? What are the positive and negative aspects of connections you have found so far, with CCK or social networks?