Posts tagged Connectivism
My experience of learning as stimulated by the COETAIL course highlights the essence of connectivism. The idea has been introduced through George Siemens article – Connectivism: A learning theory for a digital age. So first I need to define connectivism, for this I found a link (connection) to the connectivism glossary which has been set up by students who where studying earlier iterations of this theory – the irony of this will become more clear in a moment.
Connectivism is a learning theory advocated by George Siemens and Stephen Downes, among others, which emphasises the importance and role of networks and connections between people (and things?) as preminent (central) to the learning process.
My own learning about the integration and education and technology has started with the creation of connections through blogging, RSS feeds and twitter. As I start to develop confidence, and in turn allocate importance to these connections I feel my understanding is being wired into an extended out of body cloud of knowledge which I now have the power to access, evaluate and create my own further connections to/with. I know I evaluate the power of a news story due to it’s location on Google News which in turn reflects each’s stories connectedness.
So I have bought into this new learning theory within the modern day as it closely reflects my own knowledge evaluation process. I can appreciate how mastery of connections will help my students fit into and build upon all prior knowledge. This will help them to be successful in many potential fields in the future. This brings a smile to my face as I imagine these lit up and connected future human bulbs. Then I consider the standard level Physics exams my students will have to face and the requirement where the final outcome is not assessed on connectivity but the ability to solve some problems whilst removed from your knowledge web. I appreciate that connectivist theory can be used by me to help my student learn more effectively. My concern is if the present world of final exams at age 18 will get in the way of this enlightening.
I have recently been reading two different sources. The first article considers What does “Technology Integration” really mean? The article really highlighted for me the privailaged position I presently find myself in with a one-to-one laptop programme throughout the school. It also meant that I had to consider what was next after reaching, what is described as the seamless integration stage without really trying that hard.
Having read Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project it further highlighted my position with the statements such as:
“Both the generational divide and the divide between in-school and out-ofschool learning are part of a resilient set of questions about adult authority in the education and socialization of youth. Some argue that new media empower youth to challenge the social norms and educational agendas of their elders in unique ways.”
So it is my job as a teacher to start to consider what I need to do to bridge this divide and actively use new media and the associated mind-set of my students to help them make better use of their school time and learn to shine brighter in the future. So I suppose as spiderman’s Aunt May best said, “With great power comes great responsibility”