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As I move toward increased participation in in an open and connected world, I do so with both excitement and measured steps. The openness and connection I want is for sharing my thinking, my understanding and most importantly, to have those challenged in order to learn.
Randy concludes his writing with a reference to Steven Johnson’s (author of “Where Good Ideas Come From”) TED Talk tagline: “Chance favors the connected mind.” I like this notion. In many ways, I see too many connections and get deep into the weeds in a heartbeat. I jokingly compare myself to the image of John Nash (A Beautiful Mind), as I could easily see myself in a room full of images, information and strings to connect the ideas. Maybe I should be scared of that vision.
Randy breaks down connections into two parts: first, making connections between things and secondly, the sense of being socially networked. The first part is easy for me, but the social aspect requires some work on my part. I need to think about the word social. I think this word is not clearly defined and understood by many, particularly as our use of words like “friends” or “circles” are transformed by the use of technology and media. However, in the context of connecting ideas across realms of experiences in various settings and with various groups or individuals, I have long seen the connection of sharing ideas to the enhancement of learning. In this light, I see and welcome thoughtful inclusion of individual and collective experiences in learning design. Engagement with others, commenting and discussion, collaborative creations, the use of ePortfolios and community-based service projects are only a few things that come to mind. Just as engaging in and observing the world about us informs our learning from different perspectives, it is our learning that should impact the world, sometimes in small but meaningful ways. As Mary PeaceMcRay said at the end of her story The Process of Science "in science, observation of small and insignificant things, often leads to greatness."