Week 8 of the CCK11 course focussed on power and authority on online networks.
Networked technologies have changed power and authority. This, networked learning has a great deal in common with approaches to learning that focus on personal empowerment and freedom.
The speakers for this week were Frances Bell and Ailsa Haxell. Their session was recorded as was the follow up session by Stephen Downes and George Siemens. Both are well worth viewing/listening to again.
There were many thought provoking ideas in these sessions – but the one that caught my attention was the idea proposed by Ailsa that if knowledge and agency are distributed across the network then accountability must also be distributed. She asked, ‘Am I responsible for the ways that others around me act’ and answered her own question with a ‘Yes’ – there is networked accountability.
Given the activity on my blog for the past two weeks I have found this interesting to think about. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about ‘Attacks on Connectivism’ which to my surprise has attracted a lot of attention and comment. The interesting thing is that this attention and comment is not about me or what I have written, but about Stephen Downes, George Siemens, connectivism and those who have something to say about connectivism as a theory.
If we take the metaphor of blogs being a place where we can invite people to come and sit on our front porch, as opposed to forums which can be viewed more as a market place with lots of hustle and bustle*, then my blog has felt a little more like a market place recently – with a number of people visiting and holding their own discussions.
*(see Mak, Sui, Fai, J., Williams, R. & Mackness, J. (2010). Blogs and Forums as Communication and Learning Tools in a MOOC. In Networked Learning Conference, Aarlborg (pp. 275-284). Retrieved from http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fss/organisations/netlc/past/nlc2010/abstracts/Mak.html)
All this has been very interesting for me, but I have not felt the need to be involved in further discussion about this – so to what extent am I accountable for the ideas expressed in the comments made on this particular blog post and does it matter?
I know some of the reasons for this post attracting such a lot of attention. First the ‘jury is still out’ on connectivism as a learning theory and there are plenty of people out there who are following associated discussions. More than this George and Stephen made reference to my blog post. That always results in increased readers on your blog. But mostly it was Twitter. For some reason there were lots of tweets about this post. Am I accountable for all this? Am I responsible for the ways in which others have reacted to this? If I am, does this mean that the network has some sort of power over me and what I can post on my blog? How does this relate to autonomy, which is a key principle of connectivism?
Week 8 Readings
- Stephen Downes, Things You Really Need to Learn
- Henry A. Giroux, Paulo Freire and the Politics of Postcolonialism
- Gary A. Olsen, History, Praxis, and Change: Paulo Freire and the Politics of Literacy
- William H. Dutton, Through the Network (of Networks) – The Fifth Estate .pdf
- Infed, Ivan Illich: deschooling, conviviality and the possibilities for informal education and lifelong learning
- Helen McCarthy, Paul Miller and Paul SkidmoreNetwork Logic: Who governs in an interconnected world? (.pdf) (this is a book of essays; skim sections that you find to be of interest).
- Edgar Gumbert, ed., Poverty, Power and Authority in Education (.pdf) (this is a book of essays; skim sections that you find to be of interest).
- Mohamed Amine Chatti, Matthias Jarke and Marcus Specht, The 3P Learning Model
- Vance Stevens, Revisiting Multiliteracies in Collaborative Learning Environments: Impact on Teacher Professional Development