Disconnectivism is driven by the delusion that decisions are made on any basis of reality whatsoever. New information is continually being discarded when it conflicts with dominant interests. The inability to draw distinctions between important and unimportant information drives our collective discourse. The inability to recognize when new information alters the landscape defines how power asserts itself.
Today’s Disconnected news:
The classic example used to explain how FERPA works: you can’t post a list of students’ names and grades on a bulletin board in the hallway.
But what about posting students’ work publicly online?
…Yesterday, Georgia Tech deleted all student history and participation from the school’s “Swikis,” the wikis that students use for their coursework. Georgia Tech has been using wikis for this purpose since 1997, pioneering the usage of the collaborative tools for undergraduate education. One of the features of the school’s wikis was that they allowed for cross-course and cross-semester communication. You could, should you choose, remain in a wiki for a class you’d taken previously, for example.
We can no longer have students construct public entities on the Web anymore for education at Georgia Tech. It may be that FERPA demands that no school can use the Web to post student work publicly.
In completely Disconnected news elsewhere:
During our coverage of the eviction of the Occupy Wall Street protesters early this morning, a NPR reporter, a New York Times reporter, and a city councilmember were arrested. Airspace in Lower Manhattan was closed to CBS and NBC news choppers by the NYPD, a New York Post reporter was allegedly put in a “choke hold” by the police, a NBC reporter’s press pass was confiscated and a large group of reporters and protesters were hit with pepper spray. According to the eviction notice, the park was merely “cleaned and restored for its intended use.” If this is the case, why were so few people permitted to view it?
…Police began vigorously jamming the torsos of those who stood on the sidewalk with their batons. One officer mockingly shouted, “Shame! Shame!” as he angrily shoved protesters further back up Broadway. A strong scent of vinegar punctuated the air, and a row of protesters groaned in pain. Water materialized out of the crowd and the demonstrators began pouring it into the afflicted’s eyes.
Disconnectivism presents a model of knowledge that confuses the shifts in a society where living is no longer a cooperative, mutually beneficial activity. How people work and function is defined by the inexorable self-destruction brought about by disembodied power. The clueless have been slow to recognize both the inhuman autonomy of the political-economic system and its insatiable lust to consume all living things. Disconnectivism provides no insight into this hopeless reality, nor does it offer any strategies needed to survive with dignity in a post-connected era.
(With apologies to George Siemens.)