During the first week, following the discussions around 'What is connectivism?' and trying to get through the interesting readings provided by the course facilitators George Siemens and Stephen Downes I have realized how totally addictive the online world can become. It has kept me glued to my laptop till early hours of the morning flitting all over the place (or as one participant, Nellie Deutsch, commented - it should now be 'all over the places'!). Ideas, theories, arguments and counter-arguments are still rather an incoherent mess in my head, to say the least, and consequently I have been more a lurker than an active participant. But maybe just as well. I am wondering about the real productivity of such a huge network. Unavoidably, a lot of the talk going on in the various forums is mere drivel. No wonder there has been a lot discussion about filtering and avoiding the 'noise' this week. I still haven't worked out how to stop all the hundreds of emails I inadvertently subscribed to when sending my first forum post. Unfortunately, I can't help getting sucked into giving all of them at least a cursory glance - just in case I find my perfect learning mate or a gem of an idea. 'Overwhelming', 'chaos' and 'exciting' are words that I have read over and over again this week - and they seem to quite aptly describe my own experience, too.
Apart from all the confusion about getting my bearings I managed to learn something about Google maps. I got rather obsessed by having my own pin on the map of course participants that Rodd Lucier had set up for us. I tried and retried in all different ways, but whenever I went back to the map to admire my pin amongst all the others, it had mysteriously disappeared! If it wasn't for the kind help and advice of Rodd himself and another participant, Pierfranco Ravotto, I wouldn't have learned in the end that Google maps only allows around 200 pins on one map and then makes a new 'page' and a new map for the next. So, I had, in fact, succeeded in adding my pin every time and appeared on page 3 about 6 times! How embarrassing... But now finally I am there! A good example of how motivation drives your learning irrespective of the time and effort needed ;)