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


Charlie said...

This is interesting and probably not as far fetched today as I may think. I do have a hard time imagining tradition bound educators feeling OK with this approach. Nevertheless, I think that we are moving inexorably in this direction, a little more so every year. This approach makes assessment difficult...and giving and receiving grades is still what education is all about.

Robin Ashford said...

Thanks for the comment, Charlie. I do think educators are and should be focused on learning assessment. And assessing online portfolios of all sorts is still new and a challenge to many.

I think the outcomes of student work will be fairly easily assessed once educators become familiar with online tools themselves (and many already are). Whether it's digital storytelling, blog posts, video presentations, work produced in a 3D environment, etc. The criteria educators use with rubrics assessing traditional written reports, etc. can still be used. I think if anything student learning can now be shown in more depth.

I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn. -- Albert Einstein

Val said...

Interesting post. Connectivism appears as a word to define the new ways one can learn, meet people and share thoughts. But among all these informations, all those platforms and all the opinions one can find on social medias, a professor should be the key to a better understanding.
He should be the one discussing what his student has been learning online that far and maybe reorientate him towards new sources and authors.