Quantity: On Linkedin alone, I’m told that my first, second and third degree connections link me to 9.9 million people. Compared to that, my Facebook, Twitter, and F2F connections are chump change.
Quality: Some of the most brilliant people in the English Language Teaching profession have accepted me as a member in their PLN.
Strong ties: A huge number of Teachers of English, and educators in other disciplines, are in my networks.
Weak ties: I have worked extremely hard to diversify my connections. This has been successful on all of my networks, giving me access to people who have a different way of seeing the world. This, of course, broadens my own perspective of the world, giving me more of a panoramic vision rather than a narrow, tunnel vision.
So, in the connectivist sense, I am highly connected. Well, what are the seven habits of highly connected people? Do I agree with this list? If so, do I manifest these habits, or do I need to improve in some areas?
Let’s turn to Stephen Downes, who lists the seven habits for us, in his April 18, 2008 paper of the same name:
#1 Be Reactive
#2 Go With The Flow
#3 Connection Comes First
#5 RTFM “Read The Fine Manual”
#7 Be Yourself
Downes clarifies each one of these seven items in his paper, in detail, and I advise the reader to go there for the explanations.
I find myself in full agreement, without reservation, on the inclusion of these items in such a list.
That said, it’s obviously not meant to be exhaustive. I would say, definitional, defining the habits you would expect to see, as a minimum, in a highly connected person.
The larger question, for me, is my self assessment. How do I measure up? Can I “tick” all the boxes? Let’s see:
1. Yes, I have improved in this area, and been rewarded by finding three or four people whose writing I return to often to inform my thinking.
2. Can I answer, “Maybe” It depends?
If it’s a Yes or No, then this is a No.
I am focused on extracting whatever implications I can for the benefits of my students. I have declared that, openly. It’s why I’m working so hard, to take away something beneficial, not only for me, but for my students.
Stepping back, that doesn’t work so well for my fellow course participants. To be honest, I know my participation in the CCK FB chats is pretty weak. So, that’s one area I could improve on.
I’ve never attended a live Elluminate session, never felt that sensation of being in a virtual class with all of my course mates at the same time.
Why not? Basically, I relied on Radio DS106, which worked out well for me, but again, what about my course mates? My only salvation is that by having multiple opportunities to engage with pre-recorded sessions, I was able to be clearer in my own interpretations of the material.
In sum, this is the area for me to work on as the course progresses.
Conclusion: I have 6 of 7 habits of highly connected people. I’m going to try hard to make it 7 of 7.
Time is on my side, we’re only in Week 5….