After what feels like an eternity (reality: 6 days) of tweeting and CEETing and having 20+ tabs open at any given time, I can actually say that the twitter brain I alluded to on Saturday is somewhat soothed. Like Jean (and many of us) mentioned, I have had the experience of making so many interesting and unforeseen connections that in some strange way it is coming together. If entropy is the tendency toward chaos I feel like the connections I've started to make through this process has been one of anti-entropy...chaos to (semblance) of order.
What has brought it together for me is my reading and listening to George Siemens's thoughts on connectivism and the challenge of coherence and deep learning. Siemens talks about the internet being exceptionally good at fragmenting information (hence the twitter brain). Our task - as learners and educators - is to put the pieces together in meaningful ways. The way in which we do this is through connections. Alone we only possess pieces; we require connections to make the whole. What I find exciting is how the "whole" will never look the same because of the infinite pathways generated by the network. Also, the whole is not static - it is always changing.
Speaking of networks - this RSA animate played a key role in helping make sense of the buzz around connectivism and this paradigm shift of which we are agents and participants. I'm a bit of a sucker for philosophy so this is like candy for me.
What do you think? Has the "tree of knowledge" metaphor lost its value in our present educational system? Should it? In what ways can we embrace connectivist thinking in our own teaching? Should learning be primarily concerned with learners understanding relationships, as Siemens suggests?
(These ideas come from one of GS's blogs: http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/ and slideshare presentation http://www.slideshare.net/gsiemens/the-challenge-of-coherence?ref=http://www.elearnspace.org/blog/)
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