On one side we are urged to increase our connectivity – we are told that all learning starts with a connection, to learn we need to be well connected, to keep up in a fast moving digital age we need to know how to filter, select, aggregate, remix, repurpose, feed forward. We are urged to be open and connected, and to become involved in global networks. It is not enough to simply join these networks and observe – this is regarded as ‘taking’ – we must share, create for the benefit of others and reciprocate.
On the other side, when people stop to think about it, such as over the Christmas break, there is a realisation that all this connectivity can very easily get out of control and become an unbearable burden. Blog posts by Will Richardson and Beth Kanter both discuss this from different perspectives. There has been a discussion on Quora to which George Siemens contributed and we have been reminded in some posts of Clay Shirky’s suggestion that information overload is a consequence of filter failure.
Of course, as soon as people have a break – such as we have just had with Christmas and New Year – it suddenly hits us that there must be more to life than …… whatever it is that puts our life out of balance – such as has been perceived in recent online discussions and posts as an imbalance between connectivity and information overload.
But I’m wondering whether it is information overload that is the problem. Isn’t it more a lack of understanding about what we mean by connectivity and what role connectivity should play in our lives and learning? It seems that it is often interpreted that more connectivity is better – more connectivity means more learning, more connectivity means being able to keep up. But is this true? Would an answer to this question sort out the information overload problem?
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Having just read 10 Web 2.0 things you can do in 10 minutes, which has been posted by Stephen on today’s Daily, I am tesing this out to see if I can make anything like a respectable post in 10 minutes. Time is a real issue with connectivism, as exemplified by this course, as I’m sure many people are finding.
Earlier in the course Stephen posted that the course should take about 8 hours per week, but to do this course justice you would need to spend far more. Carmen’s post today, which I have only skim read, must have taken her a considerable amount of time and there are many others on the course who make deeply reflective and what must be time-consuming posts.
Connectivism seems to demand constant interaction and ‘fast’ connections, whereas deep and critical thinking and reflective learning takes time. This seems to be a tension for me in connectivism. Do we want to listen to multiple interactions, all fast firing, on twitter, on blogs, in Second Life, on Facebook, etc, etc. – the list seems endless (how do people do it!), or do we want to/need to take more time and listen to more thoughtful posts?
I am really struggling with time. I haven’t even read last week’s reading’s yet and I haven’t responded to other people’s blogs as much as I wanted to. I have watched George’s video introduction to this week today, which provides an excellent overview of where we are up to. How does he manage to be so concise? But doesn’t he look exhausted.
Is this what connectivism means? That we are so busy keeping up our connections that we are permanently exhausted? If George is looking tired, then there is absolutely no hope for me. It has taken me 20 minutes, going like the clappers and not saying anything much to write this post!
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Posted in CCK08, tagged CCK08, coursestructure, time on October 4, 2008 |
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I have just read Steve Sorden’s post about the difficulty of keeping the balance right in relation to how much time we spend on this course.
This reminded me that I wanted to make a note of Stephen’s post (or was it George?) on how many hours we should be spending on this course. 8 hours a week.
From what I have read I expect people have spent more than I hour on their assignment – probably much more.
Some additional time that might be needed depending on your prior experience would be for setting up your blog, or other aspects of your personal learning environment. This could take quite a lot of time
Beyond this, what is needed are the skills to save time – so multi-tasking skills, ability to skim read and so on will all save time. I think Stephen or George said on the Ustream call that it was expected that people signing up for this course would have the basic technical skills, but as Stephen also said, typical internet behaviour is to sign up and then wonder if it’s the right course for you after signing up. A pre-course skills/technical skills/computer spec type of checklist might help to prevent people just jumping on the bandwagon – but on the other hand if I’d completed a checklist I probably wouldn’t be here now
The course does seem to be all consuming though. If I’m not actually online, I am thinking about it and relating it all the time to other areas of my work. I can see that it will leave a hug gap once it is ended, but I think this is a common experience with online courses.
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