Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Talking about a network of learning...

George Siemens uses a metaphor of a pipe to explain connectivism as a network of learning. He says the focus is on learning about the tools – the how- more than the knowledge itself- the what. He says: “The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe.”
Well, how is it possible not to ask about the quality of the “flow” within this pipe? About its source, or its credibility?

Just recently I had the chance to see a network of learning with no computers or internet…yet individuals were still the starting point of a cycle of knowledge. I just returned from an overnight trip to an ecological farm in the north of Thailand with a group of 8th graders. The members of this ecological project showed us, taught us and shared with us their knowledge. The students helped building an earthen building; we mixed the sand and clay with our feet. Yes, we could have googled it and see a gallery of images, but this was real. Now, isn’t this valuable because of the quality of knowledge? And how the network was set up? (both the pipe and the flow…)

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