Continuing to think about themes of cyberspace, community, connection, and the cyborg as our originary myth/metaphor, I’ve selected the MOOC that will form the basis of a digital micro-ethnography: Stephen Downes’s connectivist cMOOC e-Learning 3.0. Following the unidirectional read-only (RO) Web 1.0 and the more interactive read/write (RW) Web 2.0, we are now “entering the third major phase of the world wide web”(Downes, 2018), one in which knowledge is not just shared and co-created but “distributed across a network of connections” (Downes, 2007). As Downes notes in the course outline:
“Connectivism is based on the idea that knowledge is essentially the set of connections in a network, and that learning therefore is the process of creating and shaping those networks” (Downes, 2018).
The learning experience, then, becomes one of constructing and traversing networks, not only aggregating connections but remixing them, repurposing them to make newer and ever-transforming connections (like a literary cut-up? a dadaist readymade? a postdigital situationist détournement?––Is connectivism a pedagogy of chance, the future and the always-already delayed, never present not presented, to come (à venir), the horizonal promise of what might be possible?)
eLearning 3.0 promises to be a distributed and decentred experiment then, in the aggregation of agential relations between human and non-human actors, and the messy experience of humans never fully in control over their own agency, interacting with all of this … stuff––cyborganic biotechnological bodies staying with the trouble, eclectic electric connections pulsing through spacetimes and lifestreams…
- Downes, S. 2007. What Connectivism Is. Stephen Downes: Knowledge, Learning, Community [blog], 5 February 2007, retrieved from <https://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=38653>.
- Downes, S. 2018. e-Learning 3.0 [MOOC], retrieved from <https://el30.mooc.ca/course_outline.htm>.
- Siemens, G. 2005. Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1), retrieved from <http://www.itdl.org/journal/jan_05/article01.htm>.