Return to Connectivism Home


How is it Relevant to Teaching?


Today’s generation of students have grown up with technology all around them and have absorbed information using these technologies. Today's technology enriched society has changed the way students learn. Teachers need to accept technology and learn how it can enhance their curriculum and improve student learning at the same time. The role of today’s teacher is to discover how to best reach our students in ways that will guarantee learning. Technology has caused a change not only in how students learn, but also how teachers teach these students. The teacher’s role in the classroom is changing more towards a facilitator who is trying to influence the students to use the technology to learn in different ways. Teachers must be aware of how students learn and that they gather information from different sources. Connectivism identifies these thoughts and ascertains that students will continue to learn in different ways than the previous generation of learners. Future students may also start to learn in ways that do not even exist now.

According to Seimens, here are some of the main principles of Connectivism:
  • Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.
  • Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
  • Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
  • Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
  • Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
  • Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
  • Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all Connectivist learning activities.
  • 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.

Siemens, G. (2005, January). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, Retrieved November 03, 2008, from http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm