...At the center of the development of technology is a pressure to be 'connected'. Connected to what? who? how?
Connectivism is a modern phenomenon, so modern my spell checker is showing the word as incorrectly spelled. In order to understand this theory it is worth considering the principles that underlie it as suggested by George Siemens (2004):
- Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.
- Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
- Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
- Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
- Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
- Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
- Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
- Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.
Can I disconnect?
I hear this time and time again; how can I disconnect? To survive we almost need to become hyper-connected. Staying current, nurturing connections, processing information, decision making ...it all takes time. As we master one skill, a new technology requires a new shift, as we advance our social network and PLN we require more and more time to maintain the networks we are creating.
The result... Disconnection... with REALITY.
I know that in the short duration this course has run that I have felt more disconnected from reality than connected. I see it regularly. In youth today I see more and more connection online with a corresponding disconnection with the immediate reality in their lives. In the 'Hanging Out' section of the MacArthur Report the result of this is that we are '...constructing new social norms' are the new norms better than those preceeding them? Mizuko also raises the 'hypersocial' (MacArthur Report 2008, p.14) process which teens use to create their identity. Am I just too old fashion, too stuck in the past to see that this is the way of the future? I know for sure that as a Health and Physical Educator I am concerned.
I want students to use technology, please don't think I am suggesting technology is not a good option. I think the use of technology in sport and physical education not only can improve performance, but can assist in students gaining a deep understanding of their health and well being, which can inspire them to be more active over their lifetime; a goal most PE teachers would share. I am more concerned about the impact that such hyperconnectivity has on our student populations, and in particular how it disconnects them from what is really important. My challenge is to teach children to live a life of balance, one in which technology can assist them in relationship building and identity formation, but one in which they are still firmly connected to who they are without technology.