First, let me start off by saying that I can’t believe I am doing this:  putting my thoughts out there, without editing (i.e. silencing) them or giving much time for my thoughts to settle, or spin totally out of control, whatever the case may be.

My initial response to this article on Connectivism was:  Whoa…what a minute!
My head was spinning…trying to go back to what I learned in teachers college about educational theories and reflecting on the teaching that I do today and the teaching that I might be doing in the near future.  Coming out of teaching in the public system in Canada and now teaching at an international school in Thailand, I am moving through space and time and crossing all kinds of boarders…and at the same time, still here, in front of my laptop wondering what it all means.  “What’s it all about Alfie?”
…which also begs the question:  why am I quoting a song that was written before I was born?

In addition to all this mindboggling ( I actually spelled it:  mindbloggling…I like that, can I coin it, or am I too late?), I had in the back of my head a passage written by Hermann Hesse:

All the books in the world

Will not bring you happiness,

But they will quietly lead you

Back inside yourself.

There you will find all you need

Sun, stars and moon,

For the light for which you search

Dwells within you.

The wisdom you so long sought in books,

Will then shine forth from every page

For now that wisdom has become your own.

      by Herman Hesse in “Bucher” (Books) 

SO what does this all mean?  Well, I am not sure…still working through it.

Sometimes when this happens, it means that there is a paradigm shift…at other times, it means that I am being led blinded into unknown territory, but territory that I find fascinating.

So my questions are these:  Knowledge…is it something we construct (constructivism?)…something within us?; something always there, but masked by our own delusions (Buddhism)?; or does learning and knowledge now depend on CONNECTIVISM?  I am still not sure how constructivism and connectivism are entire different. Do we not build knowledge (constructivism) through our interactions with others and our experiences?  Does the fact that those Others, are ones we may never meet because they exist somewhere else on the WWW, mean that we now call this kind of learning connectivism?

I have more questions than answers, admittedly, but isn’t that what learning is all about?

Ok…forgive me one last question (for now):  What about ancient texts that have stood the test of time?   Sure, the monks in my second post may be using cell phones to capture an image of Angkor Wat…but that does nothing to belittle the learning and knowledge that they honour and seek.  But another question (sorry, I couldn’t resist) might be does it enhance their learning?  Neverhteless, while they have armed themselves with new technologies, it is not the new technologies that have rewritten their Buddhist texts.  But what is the impact (oops, there I go again)?
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