I had several interesting conversations today, all revolving around networks and learning. One of my PhD students made an excellent submission on e-learning, but (I think) pulled her punches on a critique of Connectivism because she assumed that I am an advocate of this. Despite being a supervisor for George Siemens PhD, I am rather agnostic on Connectivism as an educational phenomenon. I know it may seem heretical to some of my colleagues, but I think that Connectivism, though very plausible, just lacks that final … well… connection! In a book several years ago, Robin Mason and I tried to capture the workings of networked, connected learning in a book called “The Connecticon”… it was perhaps rather presumptious for its time, but we thought (and I still do) that the process of online learning can be broken down to three basic levels… 1) the digital, computer-hosted resources; 2) the network and infrastructure of the internet that can link these resources at great speed ( we called this hyper-interactivity); and 3) the humans at each end of the network connections, who absorb, process, and act upon these transmitted resources. They (the humans) will act differently according to their abilities, experience, and cognitive capacities. This (to a large extent) is the basis of situated learning and of social constructivism. Responses in less than 100 words on the blog reply please! 🙂


One thought on “Networking”

  1. I do not want to make a habit of agreeing with you but connectivism is not ‘a theory’ that I think does what it hopes to do and subsume previous learning theories in the networked age. From what I understand it attempts to inform technology-enabled teaching in a networked world. Is it really an all-encompassing theory for online education?….I think not. Indeed a numer of academics regard it as no more than a pedogogocal view and I tend to agree. In my view in the networked world the theoretical background associated with social constructivism is something we have implemented and in effect tested with our student groups for a number of years. Based on my experience this latter theory provides the pedagogical underpinning required for any delivery of online education in the networked society.

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