#CCK11 The intelligent and dark sides of blogging

In this presentation by James Surowiecki

James poses 3 questions

1. What motivate people to blog?

2. Do blogs have genuine access to collective intelligence?

3. What are the dark sides of blogs?

Whilst his story about tsunami is still fresh with me, as I learnt about the tsunami and earthquake in Japan through various blogs and social media, I think it would be a great lesson to reflect on such catastrophe and its implications, in particular how media such as FB, Twitters, blogs would play a part in collecting and harvesting intelligence, in this complex ecology….

In Blogosphere, what counts as rational?  Is value measured by money?

Blogs provide affordance for bloggers where they are:

– Volunteering their cooperative power

– Accessing & collecting intelligence

James coins it as collective distributive intelligence, or participative journalism.  Bloggers would then be able to establish their voice in the media.

The dark sides of blogging, according to James include:

– people falling in love with internet

– people thinking that networks are necessarily good things

– when people are more tightly linked to group, the harder for them to remain independent

He concludes that

– groups are only smart if individuals are independent

People just do what the one in front of them does, and so the meme would be “transmitted” from one blogger to another blogger or reader, and so on.  Has the blogosphere been able to collect such collective distributive intelligence?  This reminds me of the Paradox of Wisdom of Crowd, as highlighted by James.

Similarly, I could transfer such learning to FB, Twitters, Youtube, Ted.com etc. where memes and ideas are shared and transmitted in an endless manner through different means, where some ideas are amplified, whilst others would be dampened and faded into “darkness”.

What does this story tell me?  A good lesson, that there are always two sides of the same coin, in blogging, in networks.  And overly optimistic or pessimistic in tapping into the collective intelligence would end up with “group-think” or “narcissism with a closed mind”.

This links me back to reflect on Communities and Networks as shared here.

May be this Learning Analytics would shed some light as to how and what it means to blog in the blogosphere.

Here Rita reflects on her learning with Learning Analytics and asks:

If students only use the LMS for such a limited amount of their learning, and data on the other learning is not collected, what will be the relevance and value of carrying out analytics on this LMS environment?

How about carrying out analytics on blogging in the blogosphere?

Here research into who’s talking and who’s listening on Twitter provides some interesting perspectives and patterns –

“Bloggers, unlike those in other categories, are more likely to retweet information outside their own categories, reflecting the “characterization of bloggers as recyclers and filters of information.”

Would bloggers of “our community” exhibit similar behaviors?

4 thoughts on “#CCK11 The intelligent and dark sides of blogging

  1. This post by Debbie http://rethinkinglearning.blogspot.com/2011/03/never-stop-dancing.html and this by Jaap http://connectiv.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/the-most-important-lessons-cck11/ shared some common themes.
    I think it is important to retain and respect individual autonomy and independent thinking, whilst connecting with networks and groups. A critical thinking mindset together with collaborative and appreciative inquiry in action sounds paradoxical in connectivist learning. So, critical thinking could reduce the falling into the trap of group think when working with groups.

    Student-centred pedagogy has encouraged educators to respect and promote imaginative responses to learning. A teacher could be imaginative, but not necessarily empathic in response to students.

    In current student-centred pedagogy, educators encourage students to engage in cognitive experiences such as: visualising, hypothesising, re-conceptualising, speculating, lateral thinking, creating and problem-solving. Such strategies are now orthodoxy in pedagogy, designed to develop students’ thinking abilities.

    Also, in networked learning, “it is not just what we learn, but how we feel about what we learn, which counts in the long term.” So is dancing as a metaphor. It’s the feeling of learning which makes a difference from the traditional education and learning, where group learning is believed to be based on a scientific approach, and individual feelings need to be constrained to avoid intervening the group’s performance.

    So, it is important to encourage a dynamic between thinking and feeling in order to promote learning more effectively, rather than focusing on critical thinking alone, especially in networked learning.

    “Learning is an interactive experience best achieved in a climate of relatedness, care and mutual respect. Such care is offered, not imposed, and respects humans’ need for autonomy, self-determination, and challenge as well as security” Rosyln Arnold (2005) (pg 28). This could be crucial to networked learning, especially where humans are interacting with each others in communities of practice. However, there are still paradoxes in between autonomy, diversity, openness and interactivity when educators and learners are immersed in a complex, emergent learning environment (MOOC).

    It would be important to reflect on assumptions behind connectivist learning. Some questions include:
    1. How could learning be best achieved under a connectivist environment?
    2. What are the pre-requisite literacies and skills for educators and learners to consider in networked learning?

    Reference:
    Arnold, R. (2005) Empathic Intelligence.

    More to come….

  2. Pingback: #Connectivism and Constructivism – similarities and differences Part 2 | Learner Weblog

  3. Pingback: #Change11 On blogging in MOOC | Learner Weblog

  4. Pingback: Which Learning Theory would be most appropriate for our Education System? Instructivism, Constructivism, or Connectivism | Learner Weblog

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