CCK08: Week 3 Networked

This week in CCK08 has had a different rhythm for me. I used daily Google Alerts and the WordPress Tag Surfer to identify CCK08 blog posts and read as many as I could. I enjoyed this activity enormously. I followed up on Technorati and too. I am finding that my polymath interest in the posts is sending me off on a lot of diverging journeys but I am fascinated by what is being discussed and linked.

I live in rural NSW in Australia and I rely upon satellite connectivity for Internet access. Despite the 1Mb bandwidth available to me I do have a lot of latency to distract me. I have moved from a 1Gb environment and so I am noticing quite a difference particularly with visually rich assets. I am getting more used to using Firefox’s Tabs to help me with this latency. However … I do have access to a network and feel glocalised!

My reading (and listening) order this week was:


I ended with:

I found all three presentations thought-provoking. I think they are great linear and non-linear resources. Their non-linearity sent me off to contemplate ‘connectors’ (George), ‘Netville’ (Barry) and the semantics of networks (Stephen). I was interested to see the differences in the aesthetics of presentation in each of them. Barry’s ‘thick description‘ of networks reminded me of the excitement created by Harvard Presentation Graphics and Powerpoint as presentation tools.

I learned this week about griefers and trolls through following up on a post by Stephen. I have not used Moodle at all since Week 1. As part of my reading I looked at Second Thoughts and contemplated how a networked society can share, contest and grow. I think the Auden quote at the top of the Second Thoughts home page is very apposite and this reminded me of the potential of poetics to link our sensory and revelationary experience.

I am struggling with Pageflakes. I am getting multiple panels with the same information but I did manage to find this Flickr image from Fleep Tuque.

I was intrigued to see the number of participants South of the Equator (including the occluded North Island of New Zealand). I wondered about the digital divide but read this post whilst writing this WordPress post.

Scientists have discovered a “chemical equator” that divides the polluted air of the Northern Hemisphere from the largely uncontaminated atmosphere of the Southern Hemisphere.

Notwithstanding the differences articulated in this week’s CCK08 discussion forums I wonder if the ideas presented create an ecological environment that has a mass that transcends biography, geography and chemistry?

Writing, Transparency and Confessional Tales

In 1988 I was enthralled by the publication of John Van Maanen’s book Tales of the Field. An introduction to the book noted that:

Once upon a time ethnographers returning from the field simply sat down, shuffled their note cards, and wrote up their descriptions of the exotic and quaint customs they had observed. Today scholars in all disciplines are realizing how their research is presented is at least as important as what is presented. Questions of voice, style, and audience—the classic issues of rhetoric—have come to the forefront in academic circles.

My interest in John Van Maanen’s work was amplified by reading about Wolfgang Iser and his conceptualisation of the implied reader:

The concept of the implied reader offers a means of describing the process whereby textual structures are transmuted through ideational activities into personal experiences.

My PhD (1989) was framed with their work at the forefront of my thinking. (It was a time of action research and qualitative evaluation.) It was a decade influenced by ideas characteristic of those found in new paradigm research.

Almost exactly twenty years later I came across the discussion of radical transparency by Clive Thompson. I was alerted to his discussion through the WordPress home page (20 September) by this article. I think it links very closely with the publisher’s observation on John Van Maanen:

His goal is not to establish one true way to write ethnography, but rather to make ethnographers of all varieties examine their assumptions about what constitutes a truthful cultural portrait and select consciously and carefully the voice most appropriate for their tales.

I am at the end of my second week of my participation in CCK08 and feel particularly open to an approach to connectivism that acknowledges authorial voice and the potential for transparency. I am delighted that thoughts stimulated by a cultural climate in the 1980s are finding space and voice in 2008.

CCK08: Week 2 Grounded

This has been a fascinating week at CCK08. The second Elluminate session on Wednesday brought George, Stephen and Dave together. I read Dave’s paper before the session.

I am fortunate that this session takes place at 10 a.m. in Australia on Thursday morning. I have the whole day to reflect on the discussion. I am a keen gardener and the idea of a rhizome is of great interest! I discovered the Wikipedia stub on rhizome (philosophy) and the existence of a creative arts project.

I followed up the CCK08 tag on Technorati and noted the 5708 references to Connectivism and 1143 references to Networked Learning at (as of 20 September 2008).

Technorati graphic (accessed 20 September 2008)

It may be pushing the language of the first two weeks too far but I am intrigued by the links between the two elements air and earth. We are a digitally connected network that has a presence through our local rootedness. I have started to explore the contestability of connectivism in some of the blog posts but have spent a great deal of time thinking. I am very relaxed about the epistemological debate going on and realise that each of us will have a perspective grounded in our biography.

What a remarkable group of people on this course. It is Spring time here in Mongarlowe. I think the course is like my garden … blossoming through difference and sameness.