I’ve been looking for a relevant article as a starting place for an online, senior undergraduate course (ICT in Education) that I am teaching in the Winter of 2K5. I think I’ve found it, via George Siemens at elearnspace.
In Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age, Siemens presents the reader with alternative theory of learning (connectivism) which is formed through the integration of chaos, network, complexity and self-organization theories.
The principles of connectivism include:
- Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.
- Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
- Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
- Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
- Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
- Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
- Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
- Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.
In a nutshell, “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.” Obviously, tools such as weblogs and RSS are implicated. It’s an interesting, relevant article, and a great lens to use to understand the larger phenomenon of networked learning in the digital era.