No chances for the poor users of non/verbal communication?

Difficult society?

One of the commentators, whose occupation was the sociologist and the essayist said on TV last week in the Japanese documentary program relating to ’Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)’, that

we were living in this modern society, where the communication is heavily relied on / focused on and every company or social institution values people, who could have an excellent communication skills and collaborate/connect/socialize with others efficiently/effectively whereas there was a time prior to the advent of information era that it was ok to be a wordless person.


This is because there were all types of  labour/occupational opportunities available even for people, who don’t necessarily like to communicate with others in contrast to the mode of the current society. For one of  instances, almost everything is now automatic, which creates less human labour grounds whereas more jobs  for craftsmans existed in the early 20th century.


Because of the social trend,  this type of human-beings in Japan were largely accepted in our society especially during the time without any technology introduced to our society, and sometimes they were highly valued type of males respected by females.


Hence for those minority people or what we call ‘clumsy people’  the present era is more difficult to live in since we are in a society ,where the communication/social relationship is a crucial key element to create or/and make something happen. (For instance, IT enterprises, entertainments and social network systems.)


People, who have ASD are likely to be more outstanding and recognized than ever since they did not have so much difficulty to live in prior to the the advent of hyper-connected world. There were positions available even for less communicative competent people.


(I summarized her comment, which was interpreted into English.)

Connectivism as savior

Then would they be segregated by or left behind by hyper-connected society after all, where only highly communicative competent people are demanded?

As I read through the article: ‘Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age’ by Cathy N. Davidson,

Title: The Collaboration Pyramid. Attribution: By oscarberg Oscar Berg.

it makes me realize that they should not be so disappointed at the current trend. Moreover all about concepts/ideas behind connectivism, MOOCs(Massively Open Online Course), global collaboration  should support the deficiency that we are limited in our capability to receive all of the information and do the processing perfectly/efficiently since we are anyway unperfect organisms.

In my understanding for the definition of connectivism, since we are exposed to the hyper-network society, we are living in an environment, where other set-standards of notions(such as behaviorism: ‘reality is external and is objective, and knowledge is gained through experiences.’ ; constructivism: ‘reality is interpreted, and knowledge is negotiated through experience and thinking.’ and cognitivism: ‘reality is internal, and knowledge is constructed.’) are getting less appropriate to our understanding of current native digital students/citizenships, and we have been shifted to being or developed to have become  world-wide connected people more than ever in terms of time and space.

This would affect us in a way of thinking, sensing and learning anything of the outside of ourselves. For instance, within the idea of constructivism, the everything in a society can be learnt in or followed by a set-up standard of systematic vision/framework, which is constant and absolute. In our current society, we could find this idea difficult to be correspondent to our hyper-networked society, where every moment new information is in/out and facts are revised/edited/rewritten because nothing stays the same as before.


Since thanks to the social network systems we are so connected to each other, we could help/substitute/supplement each other (, which result in some collaboration). For example, Massively Open Online Courses(MOOC) like University of People in the world might give us  an option or a clue for bridging a gap between passionate learners(, who are eager to know/learn the outside of their world) and reluctant learners(, who are negative to interact with outsiders).

 As for positive learners, our face to face learning is also a crucial thing. In our last workshop for course4, we again confirmed each other that interacting with others in an offline learning space had meant a lot to us too. I don’t think we could only rely on online learning environment, where each student does not have to come to schools/institutions.  Offline human relationship with others is inevitable,  so is online connection with others. Either interaction is not perfect, and each could cover for its deficiency and its limitation. Hopefully ‘poor users of non/verbal communication’ could be supported/supplemented/substituted by excellent communicators in on/offline environments.


  • “Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age” by Cathy N. Davidson. The Chronicle review. August 26, 2011. The Chronicle of higher education. Online. 2012.
  • “Connectivism-A Learning theory for the digital age” by George Siemens. elearnspace-everything elearning. December 12, 2004. elearnspace-everyting elearning. Online. 2012.
  • “MOOC: Massive Open Online Course” by . Open education news. July 30, 2008. Open education news. Online. 2012.

  • “Autism spectrum” by Wikipedia-the free encyclopedia. 2012. Online. Wikimedia Foundation. 2012.
  • “The Collaboration Pyramid” by oscarberg Oscar Berg. Flicker. March 2, 2012. Flicker. Online. Yahoo! Inc. 2012.

We think therefore I am.

‘We spent a good deal of time thinking about how accident, disruption, distraction, and difference increase the motivation to learn and to solve problems, both individually and collectively.’

The article : Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age by Cathy N. Davidson makes me think that  collaborative work itself could challenge the limited feature of the human brain, whose performance level is usually or relatively low when it has to deal with multitasking assignments. The conceptual breakthrough, which does not limit our ability due to the result from the experimentation described in the first part of this article is a lesson for me not to get depressed easily because of the negative consequence, which refers to ‘attention blindness’. Collaborative learning could be a savior of the insufficient inherent capability.

We are living in this world to enable an individual knowledge to be replaced with his/her community. An individual brain would be no longer more valid or highly valued than what it is now or it used to be, rather its collaborative mode would be appreciated or recognized to be an authentic qualification for human intelligence.

‘I think therefore I am’by Descartes is manipulated by ‘iPod therefore I am’, which could also be replaced by ‘We think therefore I am’. However this does not mean to say each person could learn less than before ; on the contrary s/he would learn more being motivated to enjoy further studies. Online collaborative projects, which I went through could therefore persuade me to think that the underline concept of competency lies in her/his connectivity and collaboration with outsides. The value of what is meant to be intelligent enough to cope with all issues of this coming era differs from that of definition without social network system.

How the World Wide Web has changed the world from DigiTeen Projects based on Flat Classroom Projects and WorkshopA from The 1001 Flat World Tales Project certainly not only show us the new process of learning in the 21st century but also give us the solution to challenge side effects of social network communication system. They could refer to how we can possibly manage or control the massive flow of information ; how we can be confident that what we are doing is on the right path ; how we could easily or efficiently live in the digital information era.

Things should be getting more convenient for us to learn, yet at the same time we have additional or extra burdens to be overseen and monitored constantly. Whether it is controllable or not also seems to rely on the potential of collaborate learning.

These projects running in the world premise not only save time and space but also give another credit to his/her own idea, which used to be owned by his/her exclusive confidential copyright since this would reflect his/her personal assessment. The more cooperate or collaborative you are, the better reflections you could expect from your society.

These projects remind me of the lyric of the song ‘Heal the World’ by Michael Jackson : ‘Heal the world to make it better place for you and for me…’ . Could we start making the world better place by means of having a collaborative project for you and for me at a micro level at first, which we would hope to extend to the globally created product?