Connectivisim

connectivismOne of the new buzz words with Web 2.0 and teaching is connectivism. It’s almost like a hidden/underlying driving force to which web 2.0 has been leading us, whether consciously or unconsciously.
I like the following three points made about connectivism in the article:

  1. Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
  2. Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
  3. Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.

The first point is what the internet does – connect everyone together.
The second point, however, is at a higher level. It’s easy to connect things in one field together, but to bring together different fields takes work and planning. The 3rd point is just as difficult.
If we let web 2.0 lead us without thinking, we will easily achieve the 1st point, but the last two will not be reached. I think that Robert Rubis makes an important point:

Basically, it seems to me the Connectivity, while a powerful exploitation of the power of the new tools available to learners, is a new Means to an End, rather than the End itself.

We must remember to set the end goal ourselves and keep that in mind rather than be lead by some blind idea which is only a means to an end. For teachers, this means that we must evaluate Web 2.0 and decide where it fits, rather than letting it tell us what to do.

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3 Comments

  1. marshalldy said,

    February 24, 2009 at 7:54 am

    This is really interesting, in the field of AI – psychologists are developing connectivist networks to create artificial intelligence, all the basic components are relatively simple, like neurons in the brain. Alone, the component parts cannot do much, but as they work together, new intelligences are created. This could also apply to Web 2.0 – we need to learn how to be part of the connectivist networks with each other in order to create greater intelligences.

  2. teachermac said,

    February 24, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Here’s a video demo of connectivism. Check it out. They are merging people’s photos to create 3-D images and allow us to search.

  3. February 26, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    […] talks about connectivism and so does this post over on Once a Teacher.  I am beginning to appreciate the need to develop my […]


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