Monday, January 17, 2011

New journey... On the road to connectivism

My first foray into open education begins with Connectivism and Constructing Knowledge taught by world-class thinkers and leaders in education, George Siemens and Stephen Downes. Today's post is my first step on this 12 week journey.

My first steps are to begin to understand the learning theory of connectivism and how it differs from previous learning theories. What is learning? I would have said prior to today's readings and videos... Learning is individuals developing connections with information or skills within themselves. This is a people-oriented view of learning. Connectivism goes beyond people as individuals.

Siemens (2005) mentions "learning that is stored and manipulated by technology." I am still grappling with this idea. I understand storage of information using technology. And I have heard some machines can learn (although I swear no device I have ever owned learned anything except how to frustrate me... hmmm maybe they were learning?!) Learning manipulated by technology is where I am stuck for now. (I can see that blog postings during the course will be showcasing my transparent ignorance more heavily than usual!)

He goes on to indicate that previous learning theories are inadequate in a digital age because, "They also fail to describe how learning happens within organizations." Is this learning inside the databases, or among the people in the organization? How to define organizations is a key point I will continue to mull!

I have also been reading Stephen Downes writings. I am working at absorbing them now. A post on those will follow

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age.

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