Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Networking, Connected to the Full-Blown Stream of Life...

Wow, I have such a lot to catch up on!

This is coming out two days late, because so many landmark things have been happening.

I am now a US citizen, having been "naturalized" in a ceremony at a sports stadium along with 5251 other former green card holders last Friday, September 26th, 2008 (!) However, to me the word, "naturalized," smacks of cowboy films and culture from a former era, not 2008! I can just hear John Wayne telling me: "You're a US citizen. And you're gonna be for the rest of your "natural" life!"

Yesterday I took part in a charity walk which collectively raised $60,000 for the local hospital. Two people's lives very dear to me were saved there, (one of which was mine!) And we all look on it as being a vital local resource.

Enough of this - what about Connectivism? Well, I am looking at two ways of producing my Concept Map. I have started both already and I shall decide which one looks best to me. So far, I have been actively involved in the Moodle Forums, posting whenever and wherever something grabs my attention and feels like something I just cannot let go without some sort of counter argument.

Overall I am finding that there is a very wide divide between some of the participants and others in terms of Web 2.0 awareness and knowledge of Web 2.0 tools and resources.

Before I began this study of Connectivism, I was actively engaged in creating a Wiki for a commercial company, along with tools to facilitate the jobs of engineers employed there. The wiki was solely to facilitate capture of tacit knowledge and apply its practical use to the day-to-day activities of those individuals who needed to learn a proprietary methodology very quickly. I firmly believe that I succeeded in my chosen objective. Wiki is something that was never really used much before ever in the arena of academia and never in companies, because the thought of individuals collaboratively editing a document was thought of as being very nonacademic and therefore not very reliable as a source. After examining methods of attaining information, Wikipedia is still thought of as being very flaky for the serious study of anything academic. If this is the case, why do millions of people go there for answers? I credit Wikipedia as being the stimulus for other really great learning tools like Wiki Answers, Yahoo Answers, and practically all of the forums and posting grounds all over the Internet which are dedicated to a specific subject and which offer instant solutions to technical problems. This is the start, but it is by no means the end!

I am getting ready to promulgate my own position on Connectivism, waiting only to simultaneously publish this and the Concept Map. (I'll be there by next weekend, George and Stephen! Honest!)

I have met many wonderful new people in this course from all over the world. I have had exciting stimulating contact with people in Italy, Australia, Spain, Hungary, UK, Mexico and of course, Canada. It would also be remiss of me to exclude the USA. If I have left out a nation, it is because I missed it in my analysis and there is no excuse for me. (Wow, what a boo-boo I hear you all say!) But I am getting to the point of telling you all that I have tried to be an active part in Connectivas too. I was truly excited to hear that George had spoken at Second Spain in SL for 20 seconds, followed by a translation, followed by further talk, and after each 20 second segment had been translated, he allowed time for questions. I have saved a 41 minute MP3 of this. The only problem I had was that the Spanish translation contrasted with George's English version in that it was pretty badly distorted. I hope they have better success next time (and I sincerely hope that there will be "a next time.") I know that there was lots to talk about after this and it has shown, strangely enough, that there seems to be a really powerful platform for SL in a Hispanic community, probably larger than in the English-speaking community in the participants - the one that seems to dominate.

I have to briefly touch on the very interesting Elluminate session we had on Wednesday, where Valdis Krebs presented on the Meaning of Networks. So much was covered, from the association of people in simple groups to the meaning of larger networks, and how a terrorist organization could not be distinguished from a business organization's network diagram. we viewed many different network charts all of which were given a special meaning by Valdis's exclusive experience working at www.orgnet.com

Rounding out the week, I feel I have a better understanding of Connectivism, but I am beginning to feel just a little overwhelmed by all the subject matter.

Well, this is a longer blog than the ones I have been writing up to now, but so much has happened in the last few days... I hope that it continues in this way. Please note that I abandoned my use of the abstract because it seemed the right thing to do, and what is a blog if it is not completely ad-hoc?

1 comment:

Maru said...

Hi Steve!
I am here to leave trace that I read you, I don't feel I have any smart comments to leave that's why I had not commented before.
I must say that I don't come often to visit, somehow my Google reader does not find your blog and usually when I want to add your blog to my subscription I am left with he message: "Your search did not match any feeds." :-(
So, I usually come here from my del.icio.us account, today I came from the Moodle forum.
I saw you at Conenctivitas too and left a message, did you see it?
Besos.