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CCK08: Complexity is Complex, Ain’t It?

With travel, work-load, and self-imposed laziness, I maintain my firm position on the very far edges of participation in the Connectivism & Connective Knowledge. But as I intuit from the Stephen and George show, that really does not matter, and we need to get over that.

Liquidised emotions V4
Creative Commons License photo credit: Pulpolux !!!

Week 6 is Complexity, Chaos and Randomness, topics I can say I “grok”, though the grokness this week (with more travel Wednesday) may turn to grogness.

The first reading, Developing Online From Simplicity toward Complexity: Going with the Flow of Non-Linear Learning, while set out in relevant wording, left me a bit wanting. Sure, some of it is age (it is from 2003); if I could paraphrase the essence, “We got nice comments for students in an online course we re-wrote from linear web pages to web pages arranged in groups they could choose their own readings from along with ‘a bright, inviting and “˜fun’ graphic interface, one which encapsulated an approach of “˜play’ and exploration’ ” – yes, it rose some what in complexity but hardly near chaos, or even the complexity of the CCK08 class.

I also read the whole paper looking for more about what they actually did in the course redesign, but found mostly citations and background.

In addition, I am growing more snarky with tacit generalizations (all but using the dead tired “natives/immigrants”) that “younger = desires more complex / older = desires linear”. I am not wanting studies, but some appreciation that the range of teachers and learners is just as complex as this week is supposed to address. I don’t know what to do with this reflex, but hope others can pause for reaching for that assumption, or at least question it.

The whole CCK08 has been fascinating to observe even from the outside. Thousands registered interest, yet I wonder about some possible schematic of concentric circles of participation, knowing I am out there in an orbit pretty much on par with Pluto. Might there me a core active group nearing the magic Dunbar number? How would one even measure it? Does it matter? And it really does not mean that us on the margin of participation cannot get something out of the experience.

If I hear George and Stephen correctly, that is the point- it’s not how many blog posts you make, how many sessions you attend, how many tags you tag, how many Moodle forums you wade through, you get out of it what you put in, w/o any kind of value judgment.

That works for me…

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. I’m a primary classroom teacher, I blog with my kids here and here and I work helping build an open online community for teachers. My time is pretty limited and I think I owe it to the projects that I’m involved in to be so passionate that I can properly focus on the CCK08 course, even though I’m really interested in it.

    However I have been monitoring tweets, checking the daily sometimes and generally getting a feel for some of the ideas. For me this has been really valuable, even just from the perspective of expanding my mind in terms of how our students could be expected to participate in society long term. For me just trying to participate has taught me lots.

    Anyway thanks for the post, it’s nice to hear from others at the edges.

  2. It’s funny that you mention generalizations in the first article because that is how I felt about the second article. The author seemed
    to make a lot of generalizations to support her points, such as a
    email being inherently better than verbal communication. Something about the whole thing left me cold. But I got much more from the article you mention and the videos.

    Oh and I did my Karnak the magician trick again. I mentioned billiard balls in my blog yesterday before reading her article and read her use of it today!

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