Saturday, November 15, 2008

Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age

In 2004, Canadian educator George Siemens published his thoughts on a new learning theory he called Connectivism. It posits that the pipe is more important than the content of the pipe. (much like another Candian - the medium is the message) And it is based on these principles:

  • 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.

Knowledge resides not just in the human brain, but also in the networks (both social and electronic) that we build.

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