Connectivism:A Learning Theory Prepared By: Birte Boock and James Stewart For AQ Fall 2011-2012 Online Teaching and Learning
What it is A new theory positing that learning and knowledge are based on networks– think of this course, the Internet, and other communication devices that have exploded in our times. Knowledge is universal and available to all through data networks (nodes) linking learners, allowing natural, collaborative information sharing and knowledge building. Learning takes place in a constant state of flux and that must always be taken into account.
Impact on Learners Learning is having a curious mind, actively making decisions, a life long process, which is an end in itself. Learning is seeing, making, maintaining, connections, consistentl y striving to connect fields, ideas, and concepts. Learning is knowing and growing, always aiming to add to that which is already known.
Impact on Teachers Teachers need to be aware of the technology and knowledge available to them and their students and use it. Students will drive their own learning because of the connections available today to knowledge networks. Engagement from the teacher in the network is important. The learning is the network. Learning is the Network
From the research… “New learning environments are informing present and future trends from which both educators and students stand to benefit. Moreover, the way in which global networks and communities of interest are currently being formed through emerging technologies is encouraging young people, in particular, to develop new, creative, and different forms of communication and knowledge creation outside formal education.”-Rita Copp and Adrian Hill (2008) (before Twitter took off!)
The Future Is Now Principal theorists are Canadians: George Siemens and Stephen Downes of the University of ManitobaSome Key Sources:1. International Review of Research on Open and Distance Learning (http://.irrodl.org)2. http://elearnspace.org/media/WhatIsConnectivism/pl ayer.html3. http://www.slideshare.net/Downes/xmooc-the- massive-open-online-course-in-theory-and-in-practice