“The whole is more than the sum of its parts”. Aristotle
Principles of Connectivism
Learning and knowledge rest in diversity of opinions.
Learning is a process of connecting specialized 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.
Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision (Siemens, 2005). The decision making is a learning process itself.
How has your network changed the way you learn?
Having worked in the educational sector and the IT industry gave me a definite insight on how to integrate the two processes. Through technology social networking has become a daily activity in my life. Utilizing networks applications and trying to use these in connection with education learning management systems has indeed made learning a new experience. The diverse cultural nature in actually learning by connecting to someone at the other end of the world has enabled me to learn in a totally different way.
Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?
Search engines (Google), E-Learning research databases (Walden Library, Ebscohost, etc), Social networking applications (Facebook), LMS (Moodle, Blackboard) have complemented my own learning. The time-consuming searches for information have enable me personally to access and obtain, use and construct new knowledge for my own personal development.
How do you gain new knowledge when you have questions?
I have been using technology for a long time, but the internet has honestly revolutionized leaning in every way. Search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc has certainly given the obtaining of information via a virtual platform new meaning. Various databases that are found on the internet enable me to use given data and utilize it. I can share new knowledge or new educational products with other learners or friends by connecting through chat or voice over IP systems such as Skype, Google, etc. Presentational tools such as Adobe Captivate, PowerPoint for example has given learning a new dimension in delivering content. LMS such as Blackboard or Moodle, enable a virtual learning experience through connecting to other students synchronously or asynchronously. Forums and Blogs offer a whole new range of information from real hands on educational processes.
In what ways does your personal learning network support or refute the central tenets of connectivism?
I have a very strong personal learning network through my years of having worked in the “industry” of education. The new technology has enabled me to even stay connected with people that I had developed educational resources years ago. Social networking applications, new devices such as Smartphones like Blackberry or I Phones, IPods, etc have made it possible to connect to nearly anyone if used. The exchange of ideas via new technology tools brings education to a point where even content can be exchanged really quickly. Wiki’s, Blogs you name it, there is to be used for free to create new meaning of learning possibilities. We can argue, that human relationships may suffer through all this new technology, but in regards to the positive impact it has in an educational sense should not be disregarded. In respect to instructional design the knowledge of all educational learning theories will help to find the right approach in accommodating a defined educational goal to deliver it a useful designed manner. I do not think connectivism can be a standalone theory, similar to the cognitive theory. By using elements from the constructive theory as well as using the knowledge of how stimuli will give certain responses in processing the learning materials can be used while creating connections. The learning is distributed within the network, social, technology enhanced, recognizing and interpreting (encoding) patterns. This synergy makes it a successful strategy in enhancing and complementing any learning.
Davis, C, Edmunds, E, & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008) Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved December 4, 2011, from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/