CCK08 First readings

Previous to writing at this blog I kept a weblog at in English. I started this weblog just 2 months ago and decided to write in Dutch so I could build up a network of Dutch readers. Just now I find myself writing in English again for my participation in Siemens’ and Downes’ course on connectivism (CCK08). As i truly want to participate in this learning community I’ve decided to at least write my reflections for the course in English, I’m still looking for a nice widget but it’s difficult to manage two languages….don’t know what to deal with it :(

For now, I’d like to share my thoughts on my first reading, Barry Wellman’s article on Little Boxes, Glocalization, and Networked Individualism

Somehow i have found this article difficult to read, its not very clear what Wellman’s arguments are and what they are based on. Hopefully i’m not the only want to find this. Either way, many parts of the article where recognizable and gave me some foundation to reflect on how communities work and how they can work in this course.

Wellman’s main argument is that he sees a paradigm shift in the way people are connected. He calls it

the shift from homogeneous little boxes to surfing life through diffuse, variegated social networks

I personally like to agree that people are more and more living their lives through diffuse social networks, especially through our use of technology. At the same time i think we still need to be critical on this point. As Wellman also states, we tend to meet the people online that we allready know in real life. “Online meetings are used to fill the gap between our physical meetings” (Wellman). This also corresponds with the findings in my master thesis on learning environments for Net-generation learners. So if we only use the web as an extended communication platform to our real life ones i would be carefull to state that technology causes a shift towards diffuse and variegated social networks.  Technology probably supports and helps us moeving towards more diffuse networks. In that sense i find the CCK08 course a great example i’m following this course together with two collegues of mine @hansdezwart and @daal. We can say that the three of us are having very strong ties. We know each other good and have the opportunity to interact physically and discuss on the CCK08 topics. At the same time we kinda have same opinions, work from the same context or background. Then the community of CCK08 offers us the weak ties for new insights and solutions. In that way i think its great to have joined the CCK08 course and suddendly find myself in a rather large online course with a rather great diffuse and variegated network of people.

5 Responses to “CCK08 First readings”

  1. 1 Mike Bogle

    Hi Joost,

    Have you considered providing a link to a translation of your blog using Google Translate? If you wanted to write mainly in Dutch perhaps you could include a link somewhere saying “View English Version” (or something to that effect). In this case, instead of using your normal weblink you’d enter this:

    This would take the reader to the English translation. It’s not nearly as good as a person-translated version, but it might let you do what you were hoping to. It wouldn’t apply to RSS feeds though I suspect.

    Or perhaps even better still it looks like Google offers a translation tool with a bunch of different language options. See this site for details:

    From the look of things it’s an HTML widget that you add to your blog. Readers can then select from a list of 24 or so different languages.



  2. 2 Joost Robben

    Hey Mike,

    thanks for the tip, as u might have seen I’ve allready implemented it on the site. For a while the main language will be english. The dutch google creates looks pretty funny, not sure if it will be of any help. Only for those who really dont understand english i guess..

    Gr. Joost

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