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Groups vs Networks: The Class Struggle Continues
 

Groups vs Networks: The Class Struggle Continues

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Stephen Downes presentation to EFest, Wellington, New Zealand,

Stephen Downes presentation to EFest, Wellington, New Zealand,
September 27, 2006

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  • The use of imagery in this demonstration is very effective. You've done a fantastic job here friend.
    Teisha
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  • Its a great information from you i had never heard about this information. Please give reply for my comment.
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  • Its excellent Stephen. I had to come back and go through these again after the TALOswapmeet07... I still support your notion here in those group meetings, which is funny, because even though I support and speak for the ideas and principles of network, I find myself behaving in group :(

    A lot of people seem to have turned away from this distinction you make, which is disapointing, because I still find it compelling and a significant challenge to the way I work.

    I keep it right up there with Konrad's Losing the Teacherly Voice.

    The points in both these concepts are principles I aspire to in my everyday actions, checks and counter checks in the steps I take, something to reflect on after a day's work and try and work out how to correct what I'm doing so to get closer to the networked way without teacherly voice...
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    Groups vs Networks: The Class Struggle Continues Groups vs Networks: The Class Struggle Continues Presentation Transcript

    • Groups vs Networks The Class Struggle Continues EFest, Wellington, New Zealand Stephen Downes, September 27, 2006
    • The Personalized Web
      • 2006 has seen the emergence of the personalized web, the interactive web, the web that places a premium on participation and community. Web 2.0
      • How should the learning sector respond?
    • The Response
      • The initial reaction from educational institutions has been negative, with access to many of the new applications blocked and banned by administrators.
      • But in the longer term we will need to meet the students where they live, learning how to participate in their online world.
    • The Challenge
      • Can we, when we explore their world, resist the urge to make them just like us?
    • Danah Boyd…
      • “ The dynamics of identity production play out visibly on MySpace. Profiles are digital bodies, public displays of identity where people can explore impression management...”
      • Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace
      • http://www.danah.org/papers/AAAS2006.html
    • Sherry Turkle
      • “We do not feel compelled to rank or judge the elements of our multiplicity. We do not feel compelled to exclude what does not fit.”
      • Life on the Screen
      • http://www.transparencynow.com/turkle.htm
    • Groups and Networks
      • “Groups require unity, networks require diversity. Groups require coherence, networks require autonomy. Groups require privacy or segregation, networks require openness. Groups require focus of voice, networks require interaction. ”
      • http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=35839
    • Rethinking Learning http://static.flickr.com/109/252157734_9e6c29433b_b.jpg http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4126240905912531540&hl=en
    • Their Natures
      • A group is a collection of entities or members according to their nature; what defines a group is the quality members possess and number
      • A network is an association of entities or members via a set of connections; what defines a network is the extent and nature of this connectivity
    • Groups, Schools, Classes
      • A group, in other words, is a school (of thought, of fish…) or a class of some sort.
      • Or: classes and schools are just groups. They are defined as groups.
      • Can we even think of schools – and of learning – without thinking at the same time of the attributes of groups?
    • Again, The Challenge
      • Stanley Frielick kirjoitti 27.9.2006 kello 12:35:
      • “ Education and authentic learning, like freedom, is wrapped up with the notion of responsibility and accountability. We need to learn in groups because that's where we form our identities – not in some vast chaotic network where there is no responsibility, no authenticity.”
    • Elements and Ecologies
      • A group is elemental , defined by mass and sameness – like an ingot of metal (Aside: democracy is a group phenomenon)
      • A network is diverse and changing, defined by interactions – like an ecosystem
      • Can we achieve order, responsibility, identity in an ecosystem? Do we need the iron hand? (Aside: Solon, learning, justice)
    • Group Unity
      • A group must be cohesive , united, “ out of many, one ”… “the people, united, will never be defeated…” The melting pot… the encouragement is to conform, to be like the others
      • Group technology appeals to the mass : television, radio, newspapers, books
      • Internet technology includes: all-staff email, corporate website, portal
    • Network Diversity
      • A network, by contrast, thrives on diversity … “to each his own” … the salad bowl… the encouragement is to be distinct, to create
      • Network technology includes: talking, telephoning, writing letters, personal email
      • Internet technology: personal home pages, blogs
    • Group Coordination
      • Groups require coordination , a leader, someone who will show the way… and to be managed … a group will often be defined by its values (aka the leader’s values?) and then a way to get members to follow, to share the vision, will define standards - members belong to a group
      • Associated technology includes the Learning Management System, Learning Design, LOM, etc
    • Network Autonomy
      • Networks require autonomy, that is, that each individual operate independently according to his or her own values and interests – cooperation entails mutual exchange of value rather than follower and leader – members interact with a network
      • Associated technology: e-portfolios, personal learning environments
    • Group Borders or Boundaries
      • Groups are closed - they require a boundary that defines members and non-members – walls - membership, logins and passwords, jargon and controlled vocabulary, lock-in (staying on-message, speak as one)
      • Technology: enterprise computing, federated search, user IDs and passwords, copyrights, patents, trademarks, assertions of exclusivity
    • Network Openness
      • Networks require that all entities be able to send and receive messages both (a) in their own way and (b) without being impeded
      • In their own way: open source software, platform independence, APIs, RSS, communities of practice
      • Without being impeded: Creative Commons and GPL, distributed identity
    • Group Centralization
      • Groups are distributive – knowledge, information, money, etc., flows from the centre – an ‘authority’ and is distributed through to their members
    • Why Networks?
      • Nature of the knower: humans are more like networks than
      • Quality of the knowledge: groups are limited by the capacity of the leader
      • Nature of the knowledge: group knowledge is transmitted and simple (cause-effect, yes-no, etc) while network knowledge is emergent and complex
    • Thank You
      • Stephen Downes
        • [email_address]
        • http://www.downes.ca