Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Its so grounding when I see the people i hold way up there (person iconization?) having technological difficulties, they have to seduce the technology to do whats required, just like me. Its all in the way i hold my tongue or prayers to the alter of the godesses of loose connections or to the gremlins in the machine...
Anyway, i was happy to see a resend on the daily newsletter, proves the human connection.
I havent managed to make it into a moodle discussion though, i can watch but not post. Seems i am in a rebus strip of fill in the details and confirm it on the email but the email doesnt arrive and no confirmation gets made, so i start again.... but four times is enough already. I'll take my ball and play here.

Seems i could get blown away in a discussion of is connectivism a theory or not. Not the point.
I agree with George Siemens on the

The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe.
But then I also agree with Marshal McLuhan who said the medium is the message.
If its a theory then there's baggage that is often associated with such labels, such as its capacity to predict. However, a theory can also be useful in as much as it illuminates...
“Does it end in conclusions which, when they are referred back to ordinary life experiences, render them more significant, more luminous to us, or make our dealings with them more fruitful? Or does it terminate in rendering experiences more opaque than they were before?” John Dewey

For the moment, I will accept it as a path to enlightenment :)

I agree with a sentiment that the subject matter would lend itself to a conversation which wasnt, and the critique of the critique is fairly defended- the past being a foreign country, it is unfair to lodge criticism out of context.

“The tools we use to think, change the ways in which we think.” (Turkle,2004, p.1)
Seems to me this is similar to
“To 'know' something is to be organized in a certain way, to exhibit patterns of connectivity. To 'learn' is to acquire certain patterns”
(Downes, 2005, Section O, ¶ 2).
But with Stephen Downes, this takes it a bit further as it touches on patterns formed, or as Chris Bigum and Leonie Rowan argue,
As patterns are laid down, grooves formed, a kind of template is created which also limits, proscribes, what can come next.
(Bigum & Rowan, 2004, p.223) In this there is a political ontology that can be considered, for the tools are not value neutral and what is done with them creates grooves, patterns of thinking, patterns of doing. And computers in schools become a subject to be taken rather than a tool to connect, expand...

And then George Siemens where he says;
Too many educators fail to understand how technology is changing society. While hype words of web 2.0, blogs, wikis, and podcasts are easy to ignore, the change agents driving these tools are not.

The notion of change agent is problematic for me, change theory just does not do it,a networked understanding would do it better. People act in relationships, such relationships are with other people and with things. The things are change agents also. (And hence i am studying change using networked understandings...)
And he comes to this with reference to the printing press. But what of seeing these non human actors as part of the network rather than as a channel networking others?

George Siemens concludes
that educators are reflecting on how learning has changed and the accompanying implications to how we design the spaces and structures of learning today.

What i would suggest is that form and function should follow. The analysis of it being theory or not, is less relevant for me than what purpose might it serve. Does it illuminate to look at learning differently- YES.
And I would argue further, to study what is networked, would be best served by an approach that focuses on the actors in said network (actor-network theory) and the work (or performances) involved.


  1. Anonymous4:39 PM

    if you are using your work email when trying to login to the Moodle site, try checking your spam filter for the return confirmation email ...

  2. tried this already, but thanks for the advice, thanks for visiting

  3. am sorted now :) had needed to cut and paste the code rather than just hyperlink, I think a couple of characters got missed out in hyperlinking. Or the gremlins in the mac are sleeping.