Roots of Connectivism
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Roots of Connectivism



Presented to EC & I 831

Presented to EC & I 831



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  • Bruner:
  • Motivation: Weiner – attribution theory, John Kellers ARCS model…learned helplessness
  • Perhaps it is an indictment of our education system (at least in generations past) that we need to explicitly announce that learning is social. That we each have ideas. That we make meaning for ourselves. It’s difficult to imagine educators failing to understand the interpretive (though not exclusively internalization) elements of learning. Some sites list constructivism as encompassing previous theories – including cognitivism and behaviourism ( )
  • Process: equilibrium (between schemes of representation and environment), assimilation, accommodation stages: sensory motor, preoperational, concrete operational, formal operational
  • Vygotsky: social emphasis Language as symbol and cultural tool
  • Sources:
  • Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives)
  • Based in Russian Psychology – derived in part from work of Vygotsky “ an activity system is by definition a multi-voice formation. An expansive cycle is a re-orchestration of those voices, of different viewpoints and approaches of the various participants. Historicity in this perspective means identifying the past cycles of an activity system. The re-orchestration of the multiple voices is dramatically facilitated when the different voices are seen against their historical background, as layers in a pool of complementary competencies within the activity system”. Engestrom – mms:// - “activity system which learns” “ An activity is undertaken by a human agent (subject) who is motivated toward the solution of a problem or purpose (object), and mediated by tools (artifacts) in collaboration with others (community) “ – Martin Ryder
  • The connectionist claims, on the other hand, that information is stored non-symbolically in the weights, or connection strengths, between the units of a neural net. The classicist believes that cognition resembles digital processing, where strings are produced in sequence according to the instructions of a (symbolic) program. The connectionist views mental processing as the dynamic and graded evolution of activity in a neural net, each unit's activation depending on the connection strengths and activity of its neighbors, according to the activation function. Bechtel and Abrahams – read:
  • “ cognitive death by school” - Freire

Roots of Connectivism Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Roots of Connectivism September 29, 2009 EC&I 831
  • 2.
    • “ What we have here is a transition from a stable , settled world of knowledge produced by authority/authors, to a world of instability , flux, of knowledge produced by the individual...”
    • Institute of Education, London, 2007
  • 3. Roots of Connectivism
  • 4.
    • Psychological/social/learning theory
    • Philosophy of Mind/Connectionist/Artificial Intelligence
    • Brought together/unified (corrected) in neuroscience
  • 5.
    • Psychological/social/learning theory
    • Philosophy of Mind/Connectionist/Artificial Intelligence
    • Brought together/unified (corrected) in neuroscience
  • 6. Behaviourism
    • Concept: Learning is a change in behaviour…mind is a black box
    • Figures: Pavlov, Thorndike, Watson, Skinner
    B.F. Skinner
  • 7. Epistemology/Pedagogy
    • Knowledge is objective, but secondary to behavioural considerations
    • Teaching is stimulus/response-based (conditioning)
  • 8. Cognitivism
    • Concept: information processing, metacognition, thought process, knowledge is organized/organizable
    • Figures: Ausubel, Gagne, Bandura, Bruner (both socially-focused)
  • 9. Cognitivism
    • Motivation
      • Attribution
      • Self-efficacy
      • ARCS
        • Attention
        • Relevance
        • Confidence
        • Satisfaction
  • 10. Epistemology/Pedagogy
    • Knowledge is objective, acquired through cognition (objectivistic)
    • Information processing: attention to STM, LTM, and interaction between systems (encoding, retrieval, cognitive load)
  • 11. Constructivism
    • “ Knowledge constructed by learners as they attempt to make sense of their experiences”
    • Driscoll
  • 12. Piaget
    • Piaget:
      • Process of development
      • Stages of development
    “ I think that all structures are constructed and that the fundamental feature is the course of this construction: Nothing is given at the start, except some limiting points on which all the rest is based. The structures are neither given in advance in the human mind nor in the external world, as we perceive or organize it.”
  • 13. Social Constructivism
    • Vygotsky
      • Language (symbols)
      • Social and cultural context
  • 14. Constructionism
    • Concept: people learn through making things – “creative experimentation”
    • Learning vs. Teaching
    • “ find ways in which the technology enables children to use knowledge”
    • Seymour Papert
  • 15. Situated Learning
    • Concept: “learning as it normally occurs is a function of the activity, context and culture in which it occurs”
    • Brown, Lave, Wenger
  • 16. Activity Theory
    • Concept: “More than ever there is a need for an approach that can dialectically link the individual and the social structure”
    • “ Transcending Context”
    • Leont’ev (based on Vygotsky)
    • Engeström (in current iteration – expansive learning)
  • 17. Epistemology/pedagogy
    • Knowledge is personally constructed, socially generated, contextually held
    • Teaching is indirect, supportive, learner-driven, experiential
  • 18.
    • Psychological/social/learning theory
    • Philosophy of Mind/Connectionist/Artificial Intelligence
    • Brought together/unified (corrected) in neuroscience
  • 19. Move from folk psychology
    • To scientific psychology (neural net view of learning/knowledge)
    • Philosophy of mind (Churchland, Clark, Damásio)
  • 20. Connectionism
    • Concept: Learning - neural networks, not symbol processing
    • Figures:
      • Early: Thorndike (behaviourist)
      • More recently modular models of learning (Minsky), and AI focus: Bechtel, Abrahamsen, Pinker, Churchland, Hebb
  • 21.
    • Psychological/social/learning theory
    • Philosophy of Mind/Connectionist/Artificial Intelligence
    • Brought together/unified (corrected) in neuroscience
  • 22. Neuroscience as parent science for learning
  • 23. Biological views of learning
    • “ It appears that complex and distributed systems of neurons are implicated in learning, with some systems centrally involved with the development and representation of a memory trace, and others peripherally involved in the expression of learned behaviour”
    • Donegan & Thompson
  • 24.
    • “ To the neuroscientist, learning is a whole-person/whole-brain activity what confounds received organizations”
    • Theodore Marchese
  • 25. Epistemology/Pedagogy
    • ?
  • 26. Networked Learning
  • 27. Learning in relationship to knowledge and mind
    • Distributed
      • Hutchins – Not “in skull”
      • Spivey et. al. – “not always inside brain”
      • Bereiter – “knowing outside the mind”
    • Externalization – Wittgenstein, Vygotsky
    • Socialization & negotiation – Papert, Piaget, Bruner, Bandura
  • 28.
    • “ The intelligences…are distributed …across minds, persons, and the symbolic and physical environments”
    • Roy Pea
  • 29. Connectivism
  • 30. Knowledge & learning as networked and emergent Synchronicity Amplification Resonance
  • 31. Undiscovered public knowledge
    • When connections are weak…not more research, but better connections
    • Undiscovered public knowledge:
    • systems of information that are similar but distinct or not normally connected
    • Don Swanson
  • 32. Participatory sense making
    • Our world makes sense through our interaction with information and others
    • ....(and in turn, their interactions with information and others)
    De Jaegher, Di Paolo, 2007
  • 33.
    • Depth and diversity of connections determines understanding
    • Frequency of exposure
    • Integration with existing ideas/concepts
    • Strong and Weak Ties
    Determining understanding
  • 34. The primacy of the connection Connections are to learning as atoms are to the physical world…
  • 35.
    • What connections are
    • How they form
    • What attributes/structure they exhibit at formation
    • What various formations mean
  • 36. How attributes of connections reflect learning
  • 37. But what about technology?
  • 38.
    • New media adds new opportunities for connections/relations, enacting latent ties
    • Haythornthwaite, 2002
  • 39. Extension of mind
  • 40. External mind
  • 41. Epistemology/pedagogy
    • Knowledge as constellation of connections
    • Sensemaking/wayfinding
    • Network (social/technological) as assistive cognitive agent
    • Technology as externalization/extension
  • 42. Thinking about tomorrow
  • 43.
    • Given the changes in how we interact with content and each other (make sense) and growing mediative role of technology, how should we change the educational process?
  • 44. CCK08 & CCK09, EC & I831, OSIWA mindsets of design
  • 45. Learnometer?
    • Physical device, network aware:
    • -Active search
    • -Semantic analysis
    • -Location-aware
    • -Tracks connections
    • -Links conceptual development
    • - Meaningful metrics
  • 46.
    • [email_address]
    • Newsletter: