Block 2 Activity 19: Implementing Connectivism

connectivismThis activity asked me to return to the digital skills course I developed during week 8 and apply the key principles of Connectivism.

 

 

 

Key principles of Connectivism

  • learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions
  • learning is a process of connecting specialist 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  right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.

Block 2 Activity 8 Course:

  • Social Media for sharing, collaborating and learning
  • Blogging for sharing, reflecting and assessment
  • Podcasting as a teaching & learning tool – linking into Google Classroom and possible development of Flipped Classrooms
  • Creating videos from photographs and video clips using Windows Movie Maker – to be used to capture learning and to use as an assessment tool.
  • Introduction to Coding through Scratch.
Principles of Connectivism
Social Media for sharing, collaborating and learning. ·               Learning knowledge rests in a diversity of opinions.  Social media provides/allows for a diversity of opinions which can influence how and what is learned.

·               Learning is a process of connecting specialist nodes or information sources.  Social media provides access to some, but not all specialists in the field. It also provides a platform for sharing with a wider audience for collaboration and learning purposes. Formal learning no longer forms the majority of our learning.

·               Capacity to know more is more critical than what we currently know.  As humans we have a tendency to want to be the best at what we do and to stay ahead of the rest.  Social media provides a route or a means to engaging with a wider community of learners and specialists who can stretch our knowledge and our capacity.

·               Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.  Social media provides opportunities for learners to seek and find experts/specialists in their chosen field who they can follow and maintain the connections needed to stay ahead.

·               Decision making is itself a learning process.  Users of social media choose what they need to learn, how they want to learn and what they do with the information they obtain.

·               Currency of up-to-date knowledge could be achieved through using social media however I would err on the cautious side as to it accuracy unless it was from a known reputable source (such as an educational institute).

·               Learning takes place through a community of practice.

Blogging for sharing, reflecting and assessment. ·               Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.  Learners need to make connections with self through reflection and with others through formal and informal assessment strategies.  Blogging provides a self-reflective tool which allows the learner to share their learning with others and this encourages others to feed into the assessment cycle.

·               Ability to see connections between fields, ideas and concepts is a core skill of Connectivism.  Blogging provides the learner with a platform to make links between their specialist field or their chosen interest through links made by others commenting on blog posts and individuals they have chosen to follow.

·               Blogging can be used as a tool to keep organisations learning environments.

Podcasting as a teaching & learning tool – linking in to Google Classroom and possible development of Flipped Classrooms. ·               Learning is a process of connecting specialist nodes or information sources.  Links through Google Classroom or the use of a Flipped Classroom connects the learner with specialist (teacher) and a range of information sources and encourages making links to other specialist nodes and information sources.

·               Ability to see connections between fields, ideas and concepts.  Podcasting could provide the links which provide the connections between specialist fields of learning, ideas and concepts.  How the teacher choses to podcast or who’s podcast is chosen to meet the needs of the learners will be a decision making skill that is continually under development as they strive to keep information current.

Creating videos from photographs and video clips using Windows Movie Maker – to be used to capture learning and to use as an assessment tool. ·               Learning here connects teacher/student information sets and makes connections with the teacher/student that enables both to learn more and thus increases capacity of knowledge.

·               Nurturing through learning conversations with colleagues during learning of the skills needed to create the video should facilitate learning, which in turn transfers to their learners as they reflect on learning with their learners.

·               Learning these video making skills should improve teacher’s ability to make connections with other video making tools and offer opportunities for creativity and innovation.

Introduction to Coding through Scratch. ·               Learning may reside in non-human appliances. Completed projects are saved within the MIT Scratch website and are open for others to follow, use, adapt and re-use.

·               Currency – shared projects bring to the fore work by experts, intermediate and novice learners and this keeps learning to code fluid.

·               Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning (see currency).

·               Ability to see connections to programming knowledge and skills such as HTML, Java and web design…

·               Decision making is itself a learning process.  Choice is built in and learner has to make meaning of the incoming information through the learning process.  The lens is shifting as it responds to changes/advances in technology and within the tutorials themselves. Once basic skills have been learned they need to be kept updated to ensure that the learner (and those whom they are subsequently supporting) have the most up-to-date information to allow for successful completion of programme.

Reflection:

As this course was designed to meet the needs of teachers, I believe this learning would take place within a digitally supported and driven community of practice. Learning is connected through a variety of networks which I see in this instance as being small worlds which are populated by people with similar interests and knowledge through weak ties which provide short connections between the information that is sought.  Connectivism within this course presents a model of learning that acknowledges the technological changes in society and a learning environment where learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity, rather one in which we are relying more on the experiences of others.

For this activity I chose the most clear cut of the principles of Connectivism, however if a further in-depth analysis was undertaken, I believe that I could find links to all aspects of the principles.

 

References:

Downes, S (2007) ‘What connectivism is’ , Half an Hour, 3 February [online]. Available at http://halfanhour.blogspot.co.uk/2007/02/what-connectivism-is.html (last accessed 18 April 2016).

Siemens, G. (2005) ‘Connectivism: a learning theory for the digital age’, International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, vol. 2, no 1 [online]. Available at http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm (last accessed on 18 April 2016).

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