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Mindmap by George Siemens depicting connectivism - source: elearnspace

What is Connectivism? (click to dig deeper)

"A network-based pedagogy." Stephen Downes
Connectivism is a powerful model of learning developed by George Siemens and Stephen Downes. The model is actually a combination of learning theories that addresses a shift in learning as cultural tools and methods have become digitized. This learning theory proposes:
  • the use of modern technology, the digital age, has changed how people learn
  • learning is no longer an individual activity
  • reliance on instantaneous communication, user-generated online communities, and online social networking increases the importance of informal learning
  • this cultural shift needs to be addressed and targeted in educational institutions
  • alterations in how people work, socialize, and live affect educational paradigms

How is it Relevant to Teaching? (click to dig deeper)

  • Students are comfortable and engaged using modern technology + some educators are reluctant to embrace technology as a means for instruction= a major problem
  • Connectivism provides insight into learning new skills and tasks needed for learners to flourish in a digital era
"Two years is a lifetime in educational technology space"- George Siemens
For example, 2 years ago:
  • Web 2.0 was just beginning
  • Blogs, wikis and RSS were only known to technology geeks
  • Podcasting was not prominent
  • You Tube didn't exist
  • Google Earth was virtually unknown to educators and students

Point: If students are taught only content, that knowledge will be useless or outdated quickly. If students are taught how to use tools to acquire knowledge, they will continue to learn and evolve. Hence... the importance of connectivism.

How Does Connectivism Support Students? (click to dig deeper)

  • Connectivism explains that learning occurs in different ways and relies on the use of technology. If how students learn is changing, our role as educators needs to change so the learner benefits. The ability to share information is instantaneous in today‚Äôs technologically rich world. Education needs to embrace these different forms of technology and use them to increase student involvement, change the way students absorb information, and to improve the overall learning environment for the student.

Multi-Media (click to dig deeper)

  • George Siemens
  • Connectivism philosphy, benefits, approaches, and more!

Resources (click to dig deeper)

Brainstorming map: