Sunday, September 26, 2010

Some reflections - and a concept map

I expected a heated discussion with regard to the conversation about the incompatibility between connectivism and constructivism in the Friday Elluminate session (Sept 23). Surprisingly there’s nothing in the forums yet. I believe it was Stephen Downes who said he had come to the conclusion the two could not co-exist. I’m wondering which part of this description of constructivism is incompatible with connectivism.

"We socially construct meaning through our everyday interactions with others in which we represent back and forth to each other our negotiated sense of reality. Learners should be capable of comprehending a variety of interpretations in that social process and using others’ ideas in arriving at their own interpretations of the world. Knowing is a process of negotiating sense, not transmitting fully developed truths."
(Wilson, B. G. (1996). Constructivist learning environments: case studies in instructional design
. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 07632: Educational Technology Publications, Inc. pp. 95-96)

This seems to me a very sound theoretical basis upon which to collaborate in solving the complex problems we face in today’s world.

Dave Cormier has done a lot to clarify things for me this week. I just found his video “Massive Open Online Courses for Network” and a light clicked on (OK I’m slow) that this is really a chance to grow our network – while we engage in a discussion about it. I like the nested objectives. The image of the open door was powerful.

He also finally helped me understand his objections to the adjective “Personal” in PLE/N with his posting “
Disaggregate Power not People”. I hear some of the “rebel yell,” but mostly I hear people saying their PLE enhances whatever LMS they are “forced” to accommodate.

Definitions: PLE and PLN distinctions are no longer of great interest as I see the terms being used almost interchangeably on the internet. Maybe it really is a US/UK thing as Rita Kop suggested in our
first Elluminate session (15:25 into the recording)

Rita also had some interesting insights on
two-way communications. So often I don’t reply to a blog or forum I really enjoyed or learned from, because I can’t really think of anything to actually further the conversation. I’ve wondered if there is any value in just saying “I agree with you.”

Finally, I've posted a simple PLE concept map in the "Early Concept Maps" moodle forum. Click the image below to view my much more complex and personal one. I'm still waiting for a Knowledge Soup to which I can post the actual Cmap for collaboration.


  1. I can’t really think of anything to actually further the conversation
    I agree with you !

    I think it establishes the network
    and getting no response is a bit de-motivating

    thanks Jim

  2. I agree, Jim, and really appreciate adding Wilson's definition of knowledge to my collection.

    You know, your map is a nice complement/participant's view to George's

    See you in the PLENK,

  3. I agree with you ...
    Take a minute. How do you feel now?
    Comments are emotions. Giving feedback or simply showing your concent can encourage people. I enjoyed your blog entry in the first week, when you were showing us your classroom. Sorry for not telling you this, and I appreciate your CM on PLE. I learn a lot from it. Thank you for sharing.

  4. A good quote Jim;
    I think the "back and forth . . . negotiated sense of reality" is what seems to be going on in PLENK. I'm hoping for a little more clarity next week when learning theories are the topic of discussion.

  5. I find interesting that the participant blogs look like a 'dead end' in the graph. It does feel that way to me, and is one of the negative aspects of the PLENK MOOC philosophy in my view. Instead of a trampolin for more interaction, it would seem they're bound to live and die, mostly because in and of themselves blogs are not great at interaction. They are mostly about showing one's thoughts off, which is a totally asymmetric, and therefore do not facilitate conversations.

  6. Hi Jim,
    nice to find this blog. It is easy to comment here where you already have 5 comments :)

    According to the constructivism vs connectivism I can say that I am not at all interested. I see it impossible to discuss about it with GS and SD because they are married to connectivism, their "career" is bound to it and their attitude is not at all scientific. And I do not want to become the object of their attacks. So I concentrate on themes which can be dealt in plenk..