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Groups vs. Networks

Stephen nails it perfectly: “Groups require unity, networks require diversity. Groups require coherence, networks require autonomy. Groups require privacy or segregation, networks require openness. Groups require focus of voice, networks require interaction. The group I am with right now is very intent on being a group. That doesn’t interest me. I have no wish to lose my identity and my freedom, my empowerment. Because a group is subject to this very objection – backlash, groupthink, the works. But a network is not.”
I have struggled with this theme in my own writing for the last several years. I like the individuality that a blog affords – my writing, my thoughts, my space. I don’t mind collaborating with others…but only if I don’t lose my voice and identity in the process. Our education system is based on groups…but it should be based on networks. Groups don’t scale, and the urge to focus and move a group forward in one direction results in marginalizing certain voices in order to pursue the “common good”. I’m not comfortable with that. A network (as I’ve been saying with connectivism) imbues individual nodes with personal voices…and finds it’s value in aggregating, not overwriting (marginalizing) nodes not in line with the thinking of the majority.