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Pipe Envy

September 24, 2008

Welcome to Pipe Envy, another in our popular Fisking Connecti-Vision series.

From paragraph one of the conclusion to:

http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

1. The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe.

Without content there is no pipe. What if the content exceeds the capacity of the pipe? Then build a bigger pipe, or deliver in another format. But if the pipe is bigger than the content, then what? What is the content that is referred to here? Knowledge? Information? Data? What if the pipe can handle all existent data, and more. Is not data more important at that point, depending of what the goal is? What pipe are we talking about: the internet pipe only? An easy way around the issue is to define the pipe as knowledge, instead of a transmitter of knowledge. Then of course the pipe is more important, as there is no content, just pipe. The pipe is the knowledge, and content is no longer defined as knowledge.

2. Our ability to learn what we need for tomorrow is more important than what we know today.

Sure. I’ll buy this. From the perspective of advancement.

3. A real challenge for any learning theory is to actuate known knowledge at the point of application.

I thought a learning theory describes how learning occurs, but actuating known knowledge is something a human does (at the point of application). Perhaps George means the challenge is for the learning theory to describe the actuation. I am unclear how connectivism describes this actuation.

4. When knowledge, however, is needed, but not known, the ability to plug into sources to meet the requirements becomes a vital skill.

Seems self-evident. If I need to learn something/acquire knowledge, it would be good to know where and how to find it. How is this new? Or different than a world without the internet?

5. As knowledge continues to grow and evolve, access to what is needed is more important than what the learner currently possesses.

This says the same as #2.

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