Unity is strength. I store my knowledge in my friends.
What is connectivism? It’s a learning theory for a digital age, right?
Is it only a theory, or can a teacher walk into a classroom, where there is no Facebook, no social media, no Web 2.0 tools, in fact, no internet, not even a computer, no cellphones, and yes, no electricity, and let’s say 45 students, and teach English as a Foreign Language, in a connectivist way?
Unity is knowledge. I store my strength in my friends.
For me, as a teacher, a practical one, connectivism helps me to stay current, up-to-date, in my profession.
Now, I know there are some who would be willing to debate me when I say Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a profession, but that’s the Great Debate, my last post before this one. Hint, the debate is over there and not here.
Me: What’s that you say? Do I have a link for you?
You: Yes, I’m looking for the “Is-TEFL-a-profession-debate.
Me: (smiling) Do you have a cigarette for me?
You: Sure. Here you go teacher.
Me: You got a match or something to light it with?
Me: (getting the cigarette lit by You) Thanks. Oh, here’s the link to the debate: http://profesorbaker.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/scott-thornbury-asked-two-questions-1-is-tefl-really-a-profession-2-is-teaching-even-a-profession-cck11-eltchat-sirken/
Me: What’s that? You want to use my computer?
You: If it’s not too much trouble…
Me: Would you mind letting me write this connectivist writing lesson first?
You: How long are you gonna be?
Me: I’ll ring you when I’m finished. How’s that?
You: I’ll check back with you in 40 minutes.
Me: That’s perfect. See you later. Don’t let the door… (putting out my cigarette as the door closes) I thought he knew I didn’t smoke. Some times I need to be more direct…
Friends, I’ve got 40 minutes to share with you a connectivist writing lesson, for those of you who are looking for how to make connectivism something more than a theory. 40 minutes is the length of my classes at school, so let’s get to a free-writing class.
Firstly, the idea of free-writing, as I understand it, comes from Dr. Peter Elbow. As the story goes, he was having a hard time writing. As a matter of fact, he admits that he had graduated from university, and still couldn’t write.
Am I kidding? No. Is it difficult to imagine someone graduating from university and not being able to write?
You: (incredulously) After 16 years of education?
Me: I thought the debate about whether or not teaching is a profession was on the other page. You can use Peter as your closing argument…
Where were we, my friend? Oh, Dr. Peter Elbow. What? My friend, you don’t believe me?
My Friend and Reader: Peter Elbow, huh? Why not Peter Foot or Peter Pan or Peter Cottontail?
Me: Look homeboy, what if I let Peter tell you his story? Would you believe me then?
Friend and Reader: Of course, but don’t bring no bunny rabbits in here…
Me: It’s a deal. I give you Dr. Peter Elbow… See you after the movie…