If you’ve ever seen a movie, TV show, or even a print ad, you have likely seen computer generated imagery (CGI). I bring this up because CGI is a topic I am passionate about. It’s an incredibly complex subject and one could spend years learning any single aspect of it such as modeling, texturing, animation, or rendering. The potential for creation is virtually limitless as are the opportunities for learning. Below is an image showing a partial example of the various network connections I have used to learn CGI.
When I first started learning CGI (sometime in the 90’s), the only choices available to me were really expensive and distant schools, VHS tapes, or finding someone willing to teach me. Over time I got a job at a company that made 3D software and started making contacts. Several years later I graduated from an online animation school and made even more industry contacts and friends. As social media (Facebook, Twitter, and the like) began developing I was able to further expand my network. Podcasts and videos on YouTube also added to my knowledge of CGI.
I think by far the best learning I have received was the animation school I attended, it was a diverse system of learning, enhanced by the social aspect of the school where students could critique your work before you sent it in for grading. We had a great community where anytime you had a question you could ask on a forum or Skype chat, and someone was likely to answer within minutes.
The way my network is connected, I would definitely think it supports the ideas brought about for the connectivism theory of learning. One of the main components of the theory is how various networks are available for learning and how an individual connects them. (Davis, Edmunds & Kelly-Bateman)
Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism