In my research to gather more information regarding Connectivism, I found that it is described as the learning theory for the digital age, which seeks to explain complex learning in a rapidly changing social digital world. This learning theory is promoted by Stephens Downes and George Siemens, (http://education-2020.wikispaces.com/Connectivism).
This is due to the fact that the way we are able to get information has drastically changed. Before, information was mostly obtained from books, magazines, newspapers, from our teachers at school or trainers at work.
The way information traveled from one place to another compared to our times, was very inefficient. Now, Information can go around the world in seconds, thanks to the internet. This also has allowed the proliferation of social and professional networks, which has evolved at an enormous pace. These networks are no longer limited to their proximity anymore.
Some of Connectivism’s principals are as follow:
- The integration of cognition and emotions in meaning-making is important.
- Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
- Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
- Learning and knowledge rest in diversity of opinions.
- Decision-making is itself a learning process.
Connectivism is a learning theory that relies heavily on technology to explain how learning occurs today and Mohamed Ally, from the Athabasca University, points out the following:
“There is ongoing debate about whether it is the use of a particular delivery technology or the design of the instruction that improves learning (Clark, 2001; Kozma, 2001)”. It has long been recognized that specialized delivery technologies can provide efficient and timely access to learning materials; however, Clark (1983) has claimed that technologies are merely vehicles that deliver instruction, but do not themselves influence student achievement…”
When I look at how my networks have changed the way I learn, I see the great impact that it has caused. It has made my “library” larger than I could ever imagine. I have access to articles, journals and books, that I could never have at home or in my local library. To be able to access not only text, but multimedia resources has simplified a lot of the process of learning for me.
My number one source for information, especially since I work the technological field and at a school is the internet (google, youtube, etc). Also lot of the vendors and manufacturers of equipment that I use on a regular basis post a lot of their support materials (videos, manuals, etc.) on their websites.
In terms of professional and social networking, I frequent blogs to keep me informed of social news from my home country (Dominican Republic), and to try to stay current with information related to technology, I also visit certain blogs and webpages. At work the Technology Department for the Department of Education here in NY, developed a wiki page, were we can access a lot of information and download materials to simplify our work. They created a repository of common issues and not so common issues and provide step by step instructions on how to resolve them or inform us if there is a fix on the way.
He is my Mind Map, it is simple at the moment, but it will definitely continue to expand:
Clark, R. E. (1983). Reconsidering research on learning from media. Review of Educational Research, 53(4), 445-459.
Clark, R. E. (2001). A summary of disagreements with the “mere vehicles” argument. In R. E. Clark (Ed.), Learning from media: Arguments, analysis, and evidence (pp. 125-136). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing Inc.
Kozma, R. B. (2001). Counterpoint theory of “learning with media.” In R. E. Clark (Ed.), Learning from media: Arguments, analysis, and evidence (pp. 137-178). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing Inc.
M Ally – Theory and practice of online learning, 2004 – books.google.com
Foundations of Educational Theory for Online Learning. Mohamed Ally. Athabasca University