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Connectivism Rethinking learning in a digital age October 19, 2005 University of Manitoba.

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1 Connectivism Rethinking learning in a digital age October 19, 2005 University of Manitoba

2 Every public action which is not customary, either is wrong, or, if it is right, is a dangerous precedent. It follows that nothing should ever be done for the first time. F. M. Cornford Microcosmographia Academica,

3 Conceptualizing learning… Knowledge is out there Knowledge is interpreted Knowledge is constructed Our verbs: constructs, framework, underpinnings, schema Whats wrong with these views of learning? – concept and reality: not aligned

4 How is learning different? Context is different: Interplay of learner needs, societal needs, and available tools –Information growth Process is different: Learning as network creation Cognition and knowing is different: distributed cognition (Hutchins) and collaborative meaning-making Learning no longer in advance of need

5 Baggage of existing understanding Trying to get new technology to do the work of the old Trying to meet new knowledge needs with old models Failing to see new opportunities and directions

6 Thinking and cognition Thoughts exist in space and time I am not the network…I am on my own network Pattern recognition (not info processing)

7 Learning, knowledge, meaning Perspective is not a framework (hence our ability to hold contradictory thoughts) Perspective is seeing a network from a particular node Network reflects back on itself to create a filtering node Chaos, systems thinking, self-organization




11 Internet trends Technology: RSS/Atom, Open APIs, Functionality: openness, read/write, personalization, relational Procedural: tagging, social networks, microcontent Key concept: connectivity (which requires openness)

12 What does this mean? Interplay: people, society, technology: –Mobility, interoperability, convergence, divergence, integration, richness of content, collaboration, open source, decentralized

13 End-user in control Networked individualism (Wellman) Participative Co-content and meaning creators Aggregated perspective (Downes/Surowiecki) Data recombination Personalize

14 Types of tools Blogs Wikis Social networks Aggregators Folksonomies VoIP Groupware Eportfolio (ELGG) Virtual Classrooms Combing worlds – online and F2F




18 Its not all good… Shielded Amateur Vacuum, echo chamber Quality Vetting (though it happens by a community-filtering process)

19 Does this align how we currently use learning/technology? No Content and courses still viewed as starting point of learning We are focusing on content tools: LMS (as they exist today), CMS, LCMS We should be focusing on connection- forming tools All content started as a connection…

20 Scott Wilson

21 Connectivism Learning is a network forming process Capacity to know more is more critical than what is known Learning rests in aggregating diverse, often opposing, views Content is often the by-product of the learning process, not the starting point Connections, not content, are the beginning point of the learning process

22 Connectivism Learning can reside in non-human appliances Knowledge can rest within our network, not only internally in ourselves Ability to see connections (pattern recognition) between ideas and concepts critical to learning Currency (up to date knowledge) is the intent of properly created learning networks Decision making is in itself a learning process

23 George Siemens

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