Sunday, 30 January 2011

chess and connectivism - does it work for me?

Just reflecting on some of the readings and posts over this last week or so. 
The analogy of patterns in a chess game for the learning inherent in networks got me thinking  a bit clearer about it and gave me a lightbulb moment for five minutes or so.

Though still a doubting Tomas as to how *real* it all is, I find I'm pushing myself to be a bit more open minded and accepting, helped by a friend commenting "...looks like an interesting concept, but isn't it just Wikipedia!...".

I remember having some interesting discussions when I first came across the term pedagogy, then andragogy, constructivism and so on and the different opinions that came out about the need to structure learning. 

From outside looking in, the primary concerns seemed to be how it would work for the institution and controlling learning and students. With a bit of time and study I now feel a little less perplexed as I understand why the industry needs to be able to ensure students meet set markers, that there is consistency, that there is a structure of sorts. They are after all is said and done, working with limited resources to a finite time scale and employers want guarantees that all the graduates they take on have a similar knowledge base. 

It was the heat in some of the discussions that I remember, and it's the new paradigm issue. 

I read some work by Richard L. Daft which defined a new paradigm in leadership and the shift needed. My initial reaction was negative, I read the new paradigm and recognised elements of previous 'new' paradigms in there, and it wasn't until I really got thinking about paradigms that I started to accept that maybe he'd got a point! Now I'm faced with another paradigm that takes some of the debate around VLEs vs PLEs, the manner of structuring learning to fit pedagological principles and so on to a logical conclusion. And how did I find this? Browsing my usual suspects, I find Zaid Ali Alsagoff is not only on CCK11 (now I feel totally out of my depth) but has given a beautiful example of connections *in play* with James L. Morrison and a new paradigm to boot! and why do I feel doubly obliged to post about it? Not only because it's a part of my chaotic reflections that cover my approach to learning, but a Professor AA Karim's comment at the bottom of the blog told me just why I should:

"...You know why web browser is called "browser"? Because that's essentially what most people do...browsing! I think each of us should contribute back in our own way..."

Thank you to both of you.

So where does the new paradigm come in? Hmm.

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