This post is going to be rather free form because I feel like I have so much in my brain that I need to get out.
One of the common explanations for the difference of connectivism and constructivism is that constructivism happens in your head, and connectivism happens out in “the network”.
My question was what about people with autism? You have autistic savants that don’t interact with the network, but they are absolute experts in their special interest.
Well someone has been studying that. Allan Snyder has figured out a way to turn off the left temporal lobe to induce a savant-like state. Basically the idea is that if the left temporal lobe is shut off, sensory data from the outside world (dare I say the network?) has direct access to your brain. It gets right to the brain’s processor, going around all of the filters that left temporal lobe has for us.
So, maybe info flows through the networks (just like computer networks), but the data is processed through filters in your left temporal node to be processed by your brain into information that is relevant to *you*. The filters are what create the relevant. Autistic people are able to absorb more of the data in raw form because their filters are inhibited for some reason.
It is obvious info flows through the network: someone that follows me on Twitter because of CCK08 saw me tweeting about autism (my daughter has Asperger’s Syndrome). Her daughter was just diagnosed as being on the spectrum, and she asked me for links so she could get some more information for herself. I threw together a quick blog post of resources. I’m pretty tapped into a very helpful network that helps me help my daughter, and now my CCK08 classmate is able to join that network too.
In networking terms, my classmate learned my routing table.
Maybe I will try to draw a picture of this from a (computer) networking point of view. Tomorrow.