Thursday, April 05, 2007

Connectivism, what is it?

Kind of makes me wonder why I haven't come across this before. On first reading it makes so much sense. I'd like to see some critiques of the theory. I'm sure the digital Taliban would have many. Here is George Siemen's paper explaining connectivism. George has a blog here

elearnspace. Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age

The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe. Our ability to learn what we need for tomorrow is more important than what we know today. A real challenge for any learning theory is to actuate known knowledge at the point of application. When knowledge, however, is needed, but not known, the ability to plug into sources to meet the requirements becomes a vital skill. As knowledge continues to grow and evolve, access to what is needed is more important than what the learner currently possesses.

Connectivism presents a model of learning that acknowledges the tectonic shifts in society where learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity. How people work and function is altered when new tools are utilized. The field of education has been slow to recognize both the impact of new learning tools and the environmental changes in what it means to learn. Connectivism provides insight into learning skills and tasks needed for learners to flourish in a digital era.