I’ll admit – I’m skeptical about the concept of connectivism. I agree that knowledge and its application today are vastly different than when I was in college 25 years ago. My concern is that today’s learners are relying on the ready availability of information, learning how to get to it rather than assimilating that information and becoming an expert. I think of it like this – anyone can find a lot of facts (not necessarily verified facts, but facts nonetheless) about medicine online. I go online to look up medical information all the time myself. Unlike the majority of connective individuals, I have the expertise to apply that information to the practice of medicine. I gained that through experience and assimilation of information over time. Connectivism may be an important contributor to my knowledge, and I dare say it is necessary to the practice of medicine at the highest level, but it is not sufficient to provide the skills necessary to practice medicine in the absence of expertise.
With that shining endorsement of networked learning, I am now going to promote my own networked learning space on professionalism in medicine. This is a hugely important area, and we really do not do a great job of teaching it. Furthermore, learning about professionalism is not enough. I know the key elements of medical professionalism, and I do unprofessional stuff all the time. It’s often difficult to apply that knowledge in the heat of the moment. That said, practice makes perfect, and learning and visualizing the application of principles of professionalism in difficult scenarios can help one to apply them in the real world. I hope that this networked community will help spread the word. I invite you to join and contribute to make the community better and better.