The following iMovie trailer is a creative expression of my understanding of Module II in EDTECH 543, more specifically, it symbolizes my perception of Communities of Practice, Connectivism, and Personal Learning Networks.
I began the trailer with single flowers to represent the learner in a Personal Learning Network. The flowers, like the learner, have petals that stretch outward, symbolizing the individual’s desire to connect to the world. According to Canadian Education Technology Research Specialist, Stephen Downes (2011), “What we learn, what we know — these are literally the connections we form between neurons as a result of experience. The brain is composed of 100 billion neurons, and these form some 100 trillion connections and it is these connections that constitute everything we know, everything we believe, everything we imagine.” Thus, our need for connection drives our desire to learn.
Next, I added several vegetable vines to symbolize the growth of these networks as Connectivism. Each vine has it’s own destination, just as each learner decides his own pathway, yet all the vines are connected by the initial seed. Ana-Maria Marhan of the Institute of Philosophy and Psychology of the Romanian Academy Learning asserts, “Networks are self-organizing systems. Self-organization can be defined as the spontaneous formation of well organized structures, patterns, or behaviours, from random initial conditions. Learning, as a self-organizing process requires that the system (personal or organizational learning systems) be informationally open, that is, for it to be able to classify its own interaction with an environment, it must be able to change its structure.” Each vine grows and changes its structure depending on its environment; furthermore, it produces its own unique product.
Finally, I added pictures of several sunsets to convey the idea of Community of Practice. The sun symbolizes the learner, and the clouds are actively engaged with the sun which defines the totality of the sunset. In comparison, Kristi Newgarden (2009) asserts, “Learning is a social process facilitated by interaction with others who are mutually engaged in the socially and culturally defined practices of the community.” Like the sun and the clouds as they mutually engage in a courtship that produces an array of colors and formations in the sky, learners who participate in Communities of Practice and technology assisted learning are able to collaborate to produce unique learning outcomes.
Downes, S. (2011, 01/05). ‘Connectivism’ and connective knowledge Huffington Post, Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/connectivism-and-connecti_b_804653.html
Marhan, A. M. (2006). Connectivism: Concepts and principles for emerging learning networks . (Master’s thesis, Romanian Academy)Retrieved from http://fmi.unibuc.ro/cniv/2006/disc/icvl/documente/pdf/met/19_marhan.pdf
Newgarden, K. (n.d.). Annotated bibliography – twitter, social networking and communities of practice. Retrieved from http://www.tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume13/ej50/ej50int/