This blog is summary of my learning from the following article:
Seimens, G. (2005), Connectivism: a learning theory for the digital age, The International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning [online], vol.2, http://www.itdl.org/journal/jan_05/article01.htm (last accessed 22 February 2016).
- behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism developed in a time before our digital technology era.
- learning needs and theories should be reflective of our underlying social environment.
- knowledge is growing exponentially.
- informal learning is a significant aspect of our learning experience.
- formal education no longer comprises the majority of our learning.
- Learning now occurs in a variety of ways – communities of practice, personal networks and completion of work related tasks.
- technology is altering our brains.
- cognitive information processing can be off-loaded to, or supported by technology.
There are limitations of behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism and we need to look at learning theories through technology.
Karen Stephenson (2004)stated that since we cannot experience everything, other people’s experiences and hence other people, become the surrogate for knowledge.
Chaos is the breakdown of predictability. Unlike constructivism where learners attempt to foster understanding by meaning making tasks, chaos states that meaning exists and the learner’s challenge is to recognise patterns which appear to be hidden. Meaning-making and forming connections between specialised communities are important activities.
- The starting point of Connectivism is the individual.
- Learning is a process of connecting specialised nodes or information sources and it may live in non-human appliances.
- Nurturing and maintain connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
- We need the ability to see connections between fields, ideas and concepts.
- Current up to date information/knowledge is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
- Decision-making is a learning process and choosing what to learn and the taking the meaning from the incoming information is now seen through the lens of a shifting reality. There will be times when a decision made today with the information available will not be the correct decision to make the next day as new more important knowledge or information will have come to light which will change the way forward.
- Behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism don’t attempt to address the challenges of organisational knowledge and transference.
Implications of Connectivism can have an affect on management and leadership within an organisation; on media and news; personal knowledge and the current and future designs of learning environments. We need to carefully keep on top of how connections are being made, the effect of the connections across our organisations and globally and plan and prepare for the future needs of our learning environments to ensure that they meet the needs of our learners.
We are living in an ever changing technological world where we are focusing our learning needs as what we need for tomorrow rather than what we need for today and where we do this is becoming easier through our skills and abilities to access sources openly to meet our needs. Since this paper was written, technology has advanced and provides ease of access, through the web, to a vast open field of knowledge, skills and support from experts and like minded people (some within a small world). How we learn, where we learn and who we learn with has changed and shifted towards learning within a digital environment.