Monday, December 15, 2008

About Connectivism

The simple Common Craft style video below provides a clear explanation of connectivism. I believe it's an important learning theory for educators everywhere to understand in this digital age. I first heard the term some time ago and remember googling and reading the wikipedia entry. Then I read this article by George Siemens titled "Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. The quote below is from a paragraph in the conclusion of the article.
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.

And here is an ELI Podcast session from Jan 2008 titled "Connectivism" presented by George Siemens. Would love to see comments on this. How important is this theory? How valid?

The Networked Student

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

TED Talks: Philip Rosedale: Second Life, where anything is possible

This video from TED Talks is worthwhile for those wanting to better understand Second Life and virtual worlds. I'm linking to it rather than embedding it here because the comments on the TED Talks page are worth reading.

Rosedale makes some strong statements at the end of the video on how he believes that virtual worlds are the future of the Internet. That's still difficult for most of us to imagine. Research reports projecting significant growth in virtual worlds over the next few years have been published by Strategy Analytics and Gartner . This blog post "The Future of Internet Is Virtual Worlds. Or Is It?" takes an opposing viewpoint.

I personally don't know whether virtual worlds will be the future of the Internet. Seems it would be awfully difficult to predict with how quickly technology is developing/changing. But I do believe virtual worlds will have an important part in the future of education. Those in higher education can take a look at my post on the Sept/Oct 2008 issue of Educause on virtual worlds.