On connectivism

The growth of technology has spiked in the last few decades. In current time, technology has changed the way we live, communicate and learn. Siemens (2004) stated that some of the significant trends that happened in learning such as informal learning are a significant aspect of our learning experience. Formal education no longer comprises the majority of our learning. Learning now occurs in a variety of ways—through communities of practice, personal networks, and through completion of work-related tasks.

In 2005, Siemens proposed a new learning theory called connectivism, to address the limitations of the older theory such as behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism. Siemens (2004) stated that most learning theories revolved on learning occur in a person. These theories do not address learning that happens outside of a person i.e. Learning that is stored and manipulated by technology. In connectivism, the starting point for learning occurs when knowledge is actuated through the process of a learner connecting to and feeding information into a learning community. In the connectivism model, a learning community is described as a node, which is always part of a larger network. Nodes arise out of the connection points that are found on a network. Nodes may also be organizations, libraries, web sites, journals, databases, or any other sources of information (Gerard and Goldie, 2016).

Currently, there is still a debate regarding the position of connectivism as a learning theory. Nevertheless, I feel that there are some points in connectivism that can be inferred and practiced in a classroom. Learners are provided the opportunities to make choices about their learning. There are many nodes available and with the help of technology nowadays, learners have more options in collecting knowledge. For example, discussion board and wiki can be the platform to promote collaborative work and exchanging ideas and knowledge. Learners no longer confined within the boundary of the classroom but can make connections with multiple nodes around the world. One of the principles of connectivism is the capacity to know is more critical than what is currently known. I think that this principle is quite applicable in the current world’s situation. As time progressed, new knowledge emerged and what we learn today may become obsolete in 10 or 20 years later. So, I think that it is important for learners to know how to learn and relearn to keep up to date with the ever-progressing information.

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