My own take on groups and networks
I have been talking to Leonard Low over at Mobile Learning about having a go by participating and contributing to learn. Then the same thing came up for me over at Stephen Downes blog
in differentiating between networks and groups. I have included my comments here because I am proud of them, and also because I want them to be picked up and discussed by the Connected Learning Community as part of a Learnscope project I am participating in.
I think that although reason prevails in a network, the networks are made of individuals, those individuals are emotive, the individuals in the network become empassioned. The network doesnt necessarily have the drawbacks of the "Group at any risk" concept so well explained by Stephen , but it has advantages in momentum to gain if enthused with passion and some common understandings like tolerance, being unselfconcious and taking risks in teaching and learning. I dont think common understandings make you a group, but I do think passion and emotion can sit next to reason.
I think the personal experience, speaking in a personal voice and passion and not being selfconcious are the attributes needed to teach and learn today. Sparker I see the emotive voice as a turn on in learning and seeing the world, not a turn off. The emotions are important in interpreting the ideas.
Those speakers on the recent FLNW tour were a network
of passionate individuals who have expanded the wingspan of Networked learning ideas in their practice. They were definitely unselfconscious – so much media, there were over 1000 photos alone let alone podcasts , videos and network members blog entries, and group emails.
The broad networking capability of social software has impacted on how we talk to each other. It means that I can reflect and participate here, right on Stephens blog. I am demonstrating an unselfconciousness in revealing what I think and know or not know. I am motivated to participate and therefore learn. If I thought I had to impart pearls of wisdom everytime I am motivated to participate and learn, I am sure I would not participate.