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April 07, 2009

Connective learning

I've been running into some discussions about "connectivist teaching". The term apparently was coined by George Siemens [1]. Siemens and other refer to it as a "learning" theory, but Plon Verhagen points out that it is not so much a theory about how people learn, as it is a method of pedagogy for the digital age.

The central idea seems to be to teach through a process of having the learner build a network of nodes and connections, drawing together various resources and various ideas. In practice, the focus seems to be on "know-where" instead of "know-how" or "know-what": learning where to find information, and how to move through a network of varied sources, assessing quality and reliability as you go.

Here is a simple class project presented as a YouTube video that illustrates the practice.

Siemens and Downes have offered an ongoing online course called "Connectivism and Connective Knowledge". Siemens presents ideas and resources for e-learning at his elearnspace site.

[1] ''Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age'', International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, Vol. 2 No. 1, Jan 2005

Posted by jmm at April 7, 2009 11:55 PM


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