Reflections on the History of Networked Learning – Week 4

I discovered this week that the discussions that happen on Friday for this course are really what people should be tuning into. They’re great conversations and are the stuff of good discourse. As for the historical perspective on last week, well, meh. I didn’t get much out of it, and I suppose the point was that one should know how we got to where we are to know where we can go. Again, the Moodle forums were much more interesting than either of the readings and I did try to keep my toe in the water there, so to speak. I think things are settling in the course, with people finding their roles and hopefully I’ll be able to attend one of the two video sessions on Wednesday or actually chat at noon on Friday (coincidentally when we have a meeting here at the college regarding online courses).

So, to further a thought that I had while reading and commenting on one of the other participants statements that SARS was the most successful network, I responded that connectivism could be the virus that SARS contained. The meaning I was driving at was similar to the McLuhan quote I posted back in early September (that a couple people either coincidentally started using or read here and liked the analogy), was that networks are organic and created by humans, so in some essense they will be reflective of what we do, see and feel. The information carried by the network can be all sorts of things, so the way it is accessed is important because that’s what provides context (and to borrow from constructivists, that’s how we create meaning for ourselves, context).

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