CCK08: Week 9 Stacks

This has been another slow blogging week for me in CCK08. I have just returned from a visit to the Great Ocean Road in Victoria Australia.
The Great Ocean Road website notes that:

The mighty Twelve Apostles are world-recognised icons of the Great Ocean Road. These giant rock stacks soar from the swirling waters of the Southern Ocean…

The Twelve Apostles are sea stacks (geological landforms created by hydraulic action and erosion). I took a lot of pictures and posted six of them on Flickr. In the process of posting the pictures I discovered there were lots of pictures of the Twelve Apostles. (Flickr alerted me “We found 13,927 results matching Twelve Apostles.”)
I visited the Twelve Apostles on a very windy day. The wind was so strong that it was difficult to stay there very long. My photographs catured a particular kind of visit. Despite the brevity of my stay I was in awe of the scale of the sea stacks and realised very graphically how changes occur in lanscape in geographical time.
Strange that I should be thinking about CCK08 at such a moment! I was accessing my email whilst on the road and thought that the course had a tide running from a southern ocean.
There were a number of voices questioning the exercise of power and the after-effects of Stephen’s week 8 impact. Jenny wrote a thoughtful post about this after her week away (four CCK08 colleagues responded to her post directly and it was included as the first item in The Daily). Wendy provided some visualisations that in her post “It just seemed logical for me to differentiate between individual, group, and network power, as well as perceived and actual power.” A link to Wendy’s post appeared in The Daily. Grant shared his take on the week and linked to Lisa’s post to discuss ‘personality’. ‘Turning up the juice’  as a personal response to the exercise of power struck me as a great approach for confident learners. I wonder if it has a lot to do with hair?
John Mak discussed his take on power and argued strongly that “we learn through our senses, emotions and feelings, and that make us a better person, not a better ‘machine’, which could be switched on or off. And we have empathy in which no computer network or artefacts could ever learn.” Ariel wrote graphically about the Third Rail and shared his New York origins to explore ideas about the Fifth Estate. I was delighted to read’s Sia’s post and relieved to hear that “I am still here! I will read and listen further. I still do like it very much to be a participant in this course.”(Later in the week it was great to read Maru‘s post. She has been very supportive of many of the CCK08 participants.) (After the first post of this summary I found Michael‘s discussion of power to enforce involvement.)
Carmen’s post made me smile. The blog post title was great and the content thought-provoking. I should have commented on the post when I read it. I liked the follow up post on paradigms and power. Carmen‘s posts throughout this course have encouraged me to celebrate humour as a powerful (sic) device.
Pierfranco brought an interesting insight to readers of his post in the discussion of social class and power. His writing has encouraged me to think how a course in connectivism can be enriched by the granularity provided in languages other than English. (I wondered if I read and spoke Italian well enough my understanding of Gaetano Mosca, Robert Michels and Antonio Gramsci might have been very different.)   Andreas‘s post confirmed this for me. Jon did demonstrate what a forthright language English can be in his post. Viplav reviewed some of the Moodle discussions about ‘power’ and The Daily linked to Bradleyshoebottom‘s discussion of ‘authority’. In the same edition of The Daily, Ailsa’s post in the Moodle Forum was noted. I realised that I have not addressed the ANT issues in my own thinking and thanks to Ailsa’s post need to follow up on Foucault too.
Discussions about power and authority were interspersed with questions about the ‘failure’ of CCK08. Ken’s post has received 15 comments (to date) and led Ken to post this a few days after the Failing post. In between The Daily alerted readers to Ken’s post and Ken posted this aside. He posted this too. He argues strongly that “I am beginning to think that the vision of a network as value-free, autonomous etc. is nothing but a mirage.” Stephen posted this item on 4 November in The Daily. Ken and Stephen both demonstrate the possibilities of discourse in their posts but I take Stephen’s points to be axiomatic of engaged participation in web based discussion. I do have a utopian vision for connectivism. I feel that is is infinitely preferable to dystopia. By the time Lori posted about lurking, success and failure I was ready to comment. The same for Matthias‘s post too. Jason discussed failure issues in his post and offered a pragmatic way forward. He linked to Tom‘s post on wasted time. (This combination of Jason and Tom sent me off to look at John Perry’s Structured Procrastination website.
And then Mike‘s post appeared… I have an enormous admiration for Mike’s knowledge and skill. I was amazed by his Dylan rendition in the video in the post. However I was relieved … for some reason I had already pictured Mike as the Arlo Guthrie of the ICT world. I thought the content of his post was a delightful addition to this week’s discussion (the post has drawn five responses to date). It encouraged me to think about the conversive trauma potential of education (as discussed by David Hargreaves compared to the aversive trauma of schooling.
There was a flurry of writing on other topics too.  Irmeli shared her thoughts about writing and rediscovery. Pat wrote about Digital Identity. I tried to read Joost‘s post and hoped my German would help with the Dutch. Joost observes that “Niet alleen de inhoud van de cursus is voor mij interessant. Ik verwacht juist ook veel inspiratie op te doen over de wijze waarop George en Stephen de cursus hebben opgezet”. (Shortly after I posted this Joost commented on the post and helped me translate what he actually wrote “participating in the CCK08 course was not only for me to learn about networks and connectivism. I hoped to learn also from the way George and Stephen actually use technology in this course and to experience what that feels like as a learner.” Joost adds that “At this moment I can tell you that i’ve learned many thing from that and in that respect CCK08 has been a wonderful journey for me.”)

Joost’s post and his comment emphasised again for me the multilingual aspects of connectivism and that the Connectivism wiki is available in six languages. Michele‘s post discussed some of the convivial aspects of on-line behaviour and her thoughts reminded me of the Not an Island video I posted a few weeks ago. In my utopian world I do believe like Michele, that “if anything, social media brings out the best in people. There is an inherent sense of sharing,  transparency and community that these tools can build that I’ve seen over and over again.”
I got all my times wrong on Thursday and missed the Elluminate session. I thought it was with Nancy White but discovered that the first session was her time in the course. I like The Daily‘s follow up with notes shared by Christy, Diego‘s post and Bob‘s screen capture. (Jenny‘s post gave me more reason to rue my absence as did Michael.) Just when I was looking forward to listening to Nancy, The Daily posted this link (via Leigh Blackall) from Nancy. I thought I was managing my time reasonably well in CCK08 but I have eleven other tantalising options this week.
Lisa’s post later in the week sent me off thinking about metaphors and educational roles. She led me to revisit my PhD supervisor Maureen Pope‘s work on metaphor and personal construct psychology. I had a look again at As it is in Heaven, Conversations with my Gardener and To Be and To Have. (I have shared these films with my daughter Beth as an antidote to an assignment she had three years ago ‘Dystopia in the writings of Russian Feminist science fiction writers.)
My WordPress Tag Surfer has alerted me to Ken‘s second paper, a number of posts by John Mak, a paper on the Simnet blog, Bradleyshoebottom’s paper, Adrian‘s reflection paper and many others!
I did read Lani‘s post and her post like many others reaffirmed my utopian vision of CCK08 this week. Some of the posts this week were visually stunning. Irmeli‘s post in particular was rich in images and discussion. (I did try to visit every Google alert this week) … and this takes me back to the Twelve Apostles!
The day we visited it was very, very windy. Despite the low temperature and the driving wind, hundreds of people were making the most of their time there. Some of them are people who will take Flickr over the 14,000+ count for the Twelve Apostles. The wonderful feeling of being there will mean that many of them will return there either physically or virtually. It is an intuitively right place to be.
Sychophant or not I think that CCK08 is that kind of place and that we have been strengthened by the cumulative events of the course.


  1. Hi Keith,
    Thanks for your post, seems like the “slow blogging” let you to learn a lot!
    One of the major issues of living in a connected world i believe still is language. I live in the Netherlands and I have had the fortune of a good education and have learned to write and speak English from the age of 10. I realize this is not in all countries which i think is one of the reasons why the participants of the CCK08 course is concentrated in the western/ angelical world. We are still missing voices in the conversation from eg africa, china, russia. Offcourse language is not the only problem causing this, but your post reminded me again of my struggle in which language to write my blog. I have several reasons to write a blog. Reflection is probably the most important one. Writing in your mother tongue (dutch) would probably serve this goal at best. Another reason why im writing a blog is to build up a network and be able to communicate with other experts in the field (connectivism). Writing in English would help in making this network more worldwide by which to reach many different thoughts and perspectives. But i do find it important to build a network in my home country as these connections would help me in my work and be easier to meet face to face. I’ve chosen to write in English for now, and i see that this causes a emphasis on visitors from abroad, thereby missing out many Dutch people. I’m telling you this because its a struggle that you might not be familiar to.
    By the way..let me help you translate what i wrote in dutch, as your interpretation was not quite accurate. I told that participating in the CCK08 course was not only for me to learn about networks and connectivism. I hoped to learn also from the way george and stephen actually use technology in this course and to experience what that feels like as a learner. At this moment i can tell you that i’ve learned many thing from that and in that respect CCK08 has been a wonderful journey for me.

  2. Joost
    Thank you for visiting this post and commenting on it. I have changed the post to repair my Dutch. I apologise. I think your blog meets the goals you have set for it. I enjoy visiting it and learning about your thoughts.

  3. Hi Keith – I’m just off myself for a weekend and will be offline – so I haven’t time to do your post justice just now, but will do so when I get back. I just wanted to say, that I think your style of blogging is a wonderful example of blogging at its best. I love the way you pull everybody in. But it must take you a lot of work! Thank you!

  4. Hi Keith,
    Your post seems like a great verbal approach to a social network analysis– in fact, laying out the connections this way gives me an even better impression of the complexity than the “neat and clean” mapped version. And I agree with Jenny in recognizing the tremendous amount of work and attentiveness needed to pull this all together– thank you. Now… I think I really want to visit those sea stacks:-)

  5. Keith,
    Fantastic “12 Apostles” pictures. I am in New Brusnwick, Canada and we have the Hopewell Rocks, also known as flower pots becasue of their shape. The tides reach 42 feet so they ahve done a neat job carving rock formations. See the link for pictures

  6. Hi Keith!
    As usual, I’m glad to be back here. I’m glad you took that trip to Victoria, Australia. Great pictures!
    I really appreciate your post because you visit the blogs I like to visit and as this week I’m still not strong enough I did not visit as usual. Your post took me to all the interesting posts without actually going, to more places than with good condition I wouldn’t have gone actually, but I hope to find strength to go and read them on site 🙂
    I have also been wondering about how many interesting ideas I’m missing by focusing on English written blogs but I have to be realistic, I don’t have enough time. Even if we counted with a 48 hours day there still would be ideas not accounted for. I’m in touch with the Hispanic community but not as frequently as I would like.
    I want to ask you to write more about your Utopian view of the course, somehow I sense I’m missing your big picture and I would like to see it. I know of course that you’re busy so if you happen to have the chance I’d be delighted.
    I came here from today’s Daily, I’m glad to see you highlighted there. Thanks for visiting my blog and for including me, you have also been very supportive of many participants.
    Maru :X

  7. Great weaving of threads, gave me a reflective update on where CCK08 has gotten to post power. And in a world drawn closer together, I will be visiting these apostles in a couple of weeks also 🙂

  8. […] One on my CCK08 posts exemplifies this. I used an image of the Twelve Apostles from the Great Ocean Road in Victoria to help me develop the theme of ‘stacks’. I get a lot of hits on this post relative to its content but it has taught me to think carefully about ambiguity in tagging and categorising. […]


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