From what can be described at times as disjointed, social, convenient, studious, informal, applied, and visual, one might conclude that my learning style is far from traditional. Anything that helps me make sense of my learning is a good thing. When I came across connectivism in our readings, I couldn’t help but make connections to the way I learn and think.
A Quick Refresher on Connectivism:
Connectivism is a learning theory that stems from the work of George Siemens and Stephen Downes. Thier concept of learning pits the individual seeking knowledge “outside of ourselves (within an organization or a database)” through connections (both virtual and real world). This knowledge is characterised by its ever changing or “nebulous” nature which can be typical of information in today’s society. As a result, they considered the access to knowledge more important than the knowledge itself. Or according to Siemens that “the pipe is more important than the content within the pipe.”
Check out this screenshot from my Twitter account. See anything relevant? The sheer amount of “favoriting” I’m doing reinforces this idea. I’ll know how to access this information when I need it. There’s no need to have it in my functional memory.
Anyway, listen to Siemens break the concept down a bit more here:
My interest in it…
To date, much has been written about adopting a connectivist approach to tertiary study. For my digital essay, I’m looking to explore ways this could be incorporated more frequently in the secondary school setting.
I get excited by theories that place learning squarely at the feet of the individual. The principles of connectivism outlined by Siemens directly relate to what I want to encourage students in my classroom to be able to do. Modern learners should connect with others and information databases in order to further their understandings and be able to critically evaluate information.
I have wholehearted concerns about students’ privacy, digital citizenship and the levels of digital literacy required for this adoption, but just because something is difficult, doesn’t mean we should stray away from it.
As we grow more and more connected, it will be vital for our students to understand these connections as feel confident that they can use them to their advantage.
elearnspace. Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved May 18, 2015, from http://www.elearnspace.org/articles/connectivism.htm