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.

2 thoughts on “Connectivism

  1. Alec,
    I found your post after reading George Siemens article on Connectivism and searching Google for more about the theory.
    I then noticed that we have similar paths and thought it may be possible to add you to my list of people that “store my knowledge” that I can recall when needed. I am very interested in seeking out others who are working in education at this level and need others to share learning and discover new pathways.
    I am working on a PhD in instructional design for online learning at Capella University, and am also in the comps stage. I have focused on learning objects and social software among other interests, including applications of open source software.
    I would look forward to keeping in touch.

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