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Presentation to the Online Connectivism Conference delivered on February 2, 2007

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  • Connectivism_Online

    1. 1. Connectivism Learning conceptualized through the lens of today’s world George Siemens
    2. 2. Context Context-free Tree
    3. 3. My argument <ul><li>Exponentially developing knowledge and complexification of society requires non-linear models of learning (process) and knowing (state). We cannot sustain ourselves as learning/knowing beings in the current climate with our current approaches. </li></ul><ul><li>Networked (social, technological) approaches scale in line with changes, but require a redesign of how we teach, learn (and see learning), and come to know. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Big changes change big institutions
    5. 5. What are knowledge trends? <ul><li>Intuitive </li></ul><ul><li>Growth </li></ul><ul><li>Fluidity </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on authority </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on certainty </li></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul>
    6. 6. Fluid knowledge <ul><li>Product to process </li></ul><ul><li>Creation, dissemination, distribution, end-user relationship </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Architecture of participation powered by network effects </li></ul>
    8. 8. Knowledge <ul><li>Knowledge has changed (in quantity, if not core nature) </li></ul><ul><li>Our reaction on institutional level has not </li></ul><ul><li>We still see it primarily as a product </li></ul><ul><li>Learning, knowing, cognition – distributed (Hutchins) </li></ul>
    9. 9. Abundance creates problems for existing approaches <ul><li>Inability to process – bounded rationality </li></ul><ul><li>Require new skills </li></ul><ul><li>Require new educational models </li></ul>
    10. 10. <ul><li>If you have three pet dogs, give them names. If you have 10,000 head of cattle, don't bother. </li></ul><ul><li>David Gelernter </li></ul>
    11. 11. Where can we scale? <ul><li>Human capacity – yes, but bounded </li></ul><ul><li>Technology capacity – augmentation - primitive </li></ul><ul><li>Procedural capacity - Network intelligence </li></ul>
    12. 12. Hasn’t it always been this way? <ul><li>Think of it two-fold: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Body – our understanding increases in what is there (understanding ourselves) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology – we create what isn’t (extending ourselves) </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Learning in relationship to knowledge and mind <ul><li>Distributed – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hutchins – Not “in skull” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spivey et. al. – “not always inside brain” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bereiter – “knowing outside the mind” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Externalization – Wittgenstein, Vygotsky </li></ul><ul><li>Socialization – Papert, Piaget, Bruner, Bandura </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical/moral obligations…structures – Freire, Illich, Papert, Dewey </li></ul>
    14. 14. What is a connection <ul><li>Awareness with potential for relationship </li></ul>
    15. 15. Connections of a certain type are valuable: <ul><li>Relevance </li></ul><ul><li>Of value for information sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Dense connections reduce adaptability (Beinhocker) </li></ul><ul><li>“ making connections that generate insight” (Cross, Laseter) </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>“ Roads no longer merely lead to places; they are places” </li></ul><ul><li>John Brinckerhoff Jackson </li></ul>
    17. 17. The power of networks…of doubling
    18. 18. Upgrading our relationship to information/knowledge <ul><li>From knowing about - to knowing where/who - to sensemaking/understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Cognition – “grunt level work” handled by technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tag maps/clouds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social bookmarking trends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We move to meaning making more rapidly </li></ul></ul>
    19. 20. Connectivism <ul><li>What is it? </li></ul>
    20. 21. A certain type of knowledge… <ul><li>Rapidly changing </li></ul><ul><li>Complex </li></ul><ul><li>Connected </li></ul><ul><li>Global </li></ul><ul><li>Social </li></ul><ul><li>Technologically mediated </li></ul>
    21. 23. But what does this look like practically? <ul><li>Learning is network formation </li></ul><ul><li>“Network Administrator” </li></ul><ul><li>Atelier Learning (JSB) </li></ul><ul><li>Open tools – first generation – we are only now seeing “what is possible” </li></ul>
    22. 24. Future Combat Systems
    23. 25. Connected specialization
    24. 26. Undiscovered public knowledge <ul><li>When connections are weak…not more research, but better connections </li></ul><ul><li>Undiscovered public knowledge (Don Swanson) – systems of information that are similar but distinct or not normally connected </li></ul>
    25. 27. Blog space as canary <ul><li>Blogs have dealt with information abundance for years. How do we cope? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Networks of trusted sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Openness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aggregators </li></ul></ul>
    26. 28. What skills do our learners need today? <ul><li>Pattern recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Network formation and evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Critical/creative thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance of uncertainty/ambiguity </li></ul><ul><li>Contextualizing </li></ul>
    27. 29. <ul><li>“ To the neuroscientist, learning is a whole-person/whole-brain activity what confounds received organizations” </li></ul><ul><li>Theodore Marchese </li></ul>
    28. 30. Balance <ul><li>Formal and informal </li></ul><ul><li>Think holistically: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Network (the history of ideas is a network of connections) – structures of openness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecologies – spaces of diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Context drives approach </li></ul>
    29. 31. The role of technology <ul><li>Technology expresses a view…it isn’t neutral </li></ul><ul><li>Augments, enhances, extends cognition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Memory “knowing about” is external </li></ul></ul>
    30. 32. <ul><li>The structure of the device becomes the structure of the knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>James Bosco </li></ul><ul><li>Book, courses </li></ul><ul><li>Internet: network…connective pathways </li></ul>
    31. 33. <ul><li>“ All the knowledge is in the connections” </li></ul><ul><li>David Rumelhart </li></ul>
    32. 34. Concerns <ul><li>Adaptivity – adjust ourselves as our environment and technology adjusts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the balance between reacting to and influencing the space? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Critical views…not utopia </li></ul>
    33. 35. Where is the connection formed? <ul><li>During repeated use? </li></ul><ul><li>During reflection/rest? </li></ul><ul><li>“The rest principle states that connections within a pathway of neurons become stronger only if the neurons rest after firing and that the connections will get weaker if the neurons are fired repeatedly without rest.” </li></ul>
    34. 36. What are the implications of this for our learning? <ul><li>Answer in Moodle forums… </li></ul>
    35. 37. <ul><li>Everything is an experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone is a creator </li></ul>
    36. 38. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    37. 39. Get a Free Elluminate vRoom <ul><li>Completely free, fully functional, cross platform, hosted web conferencing for up to 3 participants </li></ul>Visit