Is there something like that at all? In a discussion yesterday, an important point was made by a participant – we don’t want perfect environments to be created for our learners, even if we could create them.

Why is this important to discuss? Everywhere around us there are “frictional” forces that impede or obscure – could be authority, access, lack of infrastructure or others – the learning process.

The ability to learn to cope with these forces becomes equally critical as the process of sense-making or wayfinding in a connectivist paradigm.

What is this ability?  The best way to place this ability in stark contrast is to assume a limiting factor. Let us say the individual has no access to (say) Web 2.0 technology. Specifically, the ability to form online networks / inter-personal relationships and instant online collaboration does not exist for this individual.

For her, sense-making would be based in a world of books & letters, local resources, chance encounters and possibly luck in tems of finding the right connections for her purpose. She would then possibly compensate for this frictional force in many other ways and an important factor here would be individual agency, apart from environmental facilitation and personal skill. She would actively seek and pursue opportunities that allow her to overcome this frictional force in a unique manner.

This ability to innovate & learn within physical world and personal constraints is equally important as the process of learning itself – maybe an inseparable aspect.

Connectivism makes the negotiation of information an important aspect of the learning ability, maybe it should include negotiation of real world constraints as well.