Connectivism and Dimensions of Individual Experience

Carmen Tschofen, Jenny Mackness, International Review of Research in Open, Distance Learning, Feb 01, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The authors explore "the dimensions of individual experience in connective environments and to further explore the meaning of autonomy, connectedness, diversity, and openness." According to the authors, the "definitions of all four principles can be expanded to recognize individual and psychological diversity within connective environments." I can understand the authors' concern: "It is easy to see that attention to the perspective of the individual may perhaps be viewed as ultimately moot within the cumulative mass of network connections." This is the same point being made by Adam Curtis and it bears consideration. It is from this perspective that each of the four major principles is explored (and for me it is definitely an interesting exploration - though each one, I think, could stand to be a separate paper on its own).

There's always going to be a pull in two separate directions. On the one hand, the four principles are (in my mind) computational principles: they describe in a relatively objective way the conditions necessary to support effetcive networks. On the other hand, they have a human dimension: "we hope to see a recognition of network capabilities and possibilities intertwined with the recognition of human concerns and potential in a networked and connectivist world." It's like saying gravity weighs on us all. It is both objectively true, but also reflects an understanding of the human condition.
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