Communication is, essentially, delivering a message that is understood. There is a communicator and an audience. The communicator bears the burden of crafting a message that the intended audience understands. The delivery of the message is all that matters.
Connection takes communication to the next level. It is a message that evokes a response. Connections require relationships, links, identity, and associations.
The present state of affairs is often referred to as the "connected society" or the "connected economy". We need to help students succeed in the "connected world" not the "communicative world".
Here's the challenge.
Communication is for the masses. The message is usually broadcast - meaning it is designed for a broad audience, who may or may not agree, listen, or follow. There is no real intention to develop a relationship, strengthen a connection, or create a new identity. The broadcast is simply to relate information.
Connection is much more personal. The goal is the association, the tribe building, and the relationship strengthening.
The communicator articulates a clear message.
The connector delivers a message that becomes part of the audiences identity.
Communication is relatively easy. There are numerous mediums available to help you deliver your message.
Connections are harder. They require an investment of oneself and the courage to risk rejection (but the desire to learn and connect better next time).