Connectivism – a stumbling block?

I don’t think I have the skills needed for being well connected online (and probably offline too)! So for example, I cannot cope with the chat stream and listening to the speakers at the same time on Ustream. Today was frustrating from that point of view. The speakers were interesting, rambling a bit from time to time, not to mention disagreeing, but nevertheless lots worth listening too. But I kept getting distracted by the chat. I think this is because I have begun to recognise people in the chat area and if you can filter through the simple greetings etc. then there are interesting comments and questions. I was trying to identify people I would like to follow up/connect to.

So despite being a woman (they do say women are good at multi-tasking – in my case this is an erroneous assumption), I can’t multi-task to this extent. I’m not very good at skim reading (slow reader!) or filtering information quickly. I also don’t have basic technical skills – like I’m just becoming aware that there must be a way of indicating that you are replying  (in the chat area) to a named person (those @ signs) – but I don’t know how to do this. So apologies to people who responded to me by name and didn’t get a response back. I just haven’t worked out the system yet!

Finally I don’t seem to have sussed how to ask a question that will get answered. I have now raised at least one question on at least two separate occasions (either Elluminate or Ustream) – all my questions are completely overlooked. I don’t mind the question not being answered as the questions that are answered are worth talking about – but I’m interested in why some questions get answered and others are overlooked, apart from the obvious answer that some questions will be of better quality than others. What concerns me a bit is that it might be that questions from ‘recognised’ people get answered, although I’m willing to consider that the ‘recognised’ people might also be asking the ‘best’ questions. So another skill that’s needed is raising appropriate questions – if you want to get into any sort of dialogue.

So here in this post I have identified at least a few practical skills that are needed to succeed in a technologically connected world and there are many more. Are the people who don’t have these skills going to be left behind, or is there going to be something equivalent to the inclusive curriculum, where members of the network take responsibility for inducting others into the network and helping them to develop their skills?

I think a community would do this – but probably not a network. And for me, this might be the big stumbling block with connectivism. For me, learning is more often than not a social responsibility.

3 thoughts on “Connectivism – a stumbling block?

  1. liz renshaw September 27, 2008 / 7:53 am

    I really connected with your blog comments on the skills needed in a networked environment. I have previously found chat sessions unbelievably frustrating certainly not my prefered entity unless they are well moderated.
    The topic you raise of skills that are needed is very timely. First up I had to come up with new skills to actually connect to this ‘online course’. Now Im at the syndicate sequence part of trying to aggegrate and once this is acheived what to do then. Also thinking through how to connect with people.. seems that reading the google alert and checking out bylines that interested me is one way. So thanks for prompting me to start thinking widely about the new skills that are needed.

    I really like your comment about who will induct people into the new skills. If the new way is networked individualism are we all going to be too busy connected to support and nuture others with their learning?

  2. jennymackness September 27, 2008 / 8:35 pm

    Hi Liz – thanks for your visit. I have been trying to find your blog, but like you I’m not on top of this aggregation business and haven’t succeeded. You’re one step ahead of me with ‘Google alert’. I haven’t sussed that yet! I’ll have to go and find out what it is now 🙂 Oh the joys of being slow at techonology and yet so keen to learn!!

    Do you think anyone will stop by here and give us a hand?

    If you can point me to your blog that would be great!


  3. liz renshaw September 28, 2008 / 6:22 am

    My blog is

    Im trying to track the blogs I post to so that I can see if someone such as yourself responds. Otherwise I seem to be posting in lots of places and not getting any sense of feedback. Rather like a one way conversation.

    I was spending lots of time wandering around testing tools and I thought this is frustrating …. ask the network. So overnight I got a response use RSS…. now to make it work.

    Im thinking that people will stop and help if we ask but I must say some people are having some pretty out there conversations about this stuff. …

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