Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Out of week 1 into week 2

I surprised myself by attending Friday's CCK11 live Elluminate session (Sat morn 4am), I am finding that I am getting a lot from joining live. I might even type a comment in the chat roll one day.
There was some great discussion and a couple of points that I want to pick up in this blog (blue text) over the next few entries/posts.

Nina asked Can we apply connectivism in non-technology environments?
This again made me consider my perspective of connectivist learning as the method by which I developed my parenting know how.
Being a first time mum I was 'overwhelmed' at my inadequacies in one moment and then overcome by instinct in the next. There were so many aspects of looking after a tiny baby that I knew I was completely underqualified for....how many parents have been surprised that the hospital allows them to take this tiny human being home to care for it independently - medical care, feeding, sleeping, holding.. all of these skills do not come 'naturally' they are learned.

There are many skills or knowledge that must be known by a parent but soon after the knowledge or learning is forgotten because the sleep issue is overcome then you have to move onto the cause of the wind (or colic).
When it comes to the second time around (next baby) you are a little more relaxed (at least I know I was) but there are many learnings that you have forgotten, now you have more of an idea about who to contact to get an answer, support or advice. You have built a network of experts - probably contained in your head, but you know where to go or who to ask. This practise has been going on for years (and years) with parents drawing on their network of experts to assist and support their efforts in raising babies into toddlers into children.

I believe this is what George Siemens refers to, in his blip tv presentation 'CCK11: Quick overview', as 'connected specialisation' where "A single individual, because of the complexity of the tasks, isnt able to accomplish them on her own, so instead we have to rely on being connected to people who have the ability to amplify our knowledge or at least to make us intelligent in a different way than we are as individuals."

Another example I have been considering, having read many books on wealth building over the years, is the way entrepeneurs build their fortunes when they are not experts in their chosen area/field. Many use the technique of surrounding themselves with the best people in their specialist fields eg. accountants, technicians, advisors/agents. I propose that these are two valid examples of connected specialisation.

With that said I am thinking that the concept of 'connected specialisation' is, in fact, an ancient method of learning however all of the examples provided by George relate to technology in some respect (vehicle maufacturing, flying a plane) so I am thinking back to Nina's original question if connectivism can apply to non-technology environments. I wonder if I am on the right track?.

In my next post I will consider Abdullah's question "what if the network you created provides you with incorrect information", which led to an interesting discussion in the elluminate chat roll about 'enemies in a network'.

1 comment:

Ruth Sexstone said...

Hi Kim,
I like the way you try to draw an analogy with an everyday experience that you can relate to. I think that learning has always been about connecting to specialists in that field. Pre-internet access to specialists was just very limited, maybe just to those people you could meet with, write to etc. Now, through the wonder of the digital age, connectivisim can (potentally) apply to non-technological environment such as parenting - just look at the power of mumsnet (www.mumsnet.com).