Connectivism is a theoretical framework for understanding learning. 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. (Kop & Hill, 2008).
This week’s assignment was to create a mind map to show our own learning networks. My mind map project helped to show me the complexity of learning and how I connect things such as the environment, culture, and past experience and so forth within my network, and how technology ties it all together.
In today’s changing society, information is always changing. The information that a person acquires today may be different tomorrow. As adults, we automatically consider these changes and adapt our current knowledge to new knowledge. Everyone is unique and learns in various ways, because of this, there is no best way of learning. No one particular learning theory is better than another (Fenwick & Tennant, 2004). Learning is blended and constant (Fenwick & Tennant, 2004). There is no such thing as generic ‘adult learner’ who can describe in ways that accurately and responsibility portray the myriad differences between people and the changes they experience (Fenwick & Tennant, 2004). Just like anything else that involves human experience or interaction, the act of learning does not happen in a vacuum. It is at the intersection of prior knowledge, experience, perception, reality, comprehension, and flexibility that learning occurs. (Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman 2008). The context of a person’s life with its unique cultural, political, physical, and social dynamics influences what learning experiences are encountered and how they are engaged (Fenwick & Tennant, 2004). My network has changed the way I learn because it challenges me to ask questions when I’m unsure about something, think critically when asked to provide a solution to a problem, be open to the view points of others, and to be diverse in technology.
Technology plays a very important role in my learning. I spend hours on a computer each day researching the internet and communicating with colleagues and family members across the nation. New technology and software has been my life-saver with various projects for grad school and preparing lessons for my students. When trying to solve problems I use several different networks, such as technology, social networks, and opinions of colleagues and friends to form my own outcome for the problem.
New technology forces today’s learner to process and apply information in a very different way and at a very different pace from any other time in history (Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman 2008). With today’s technologies and information changing so rapidly, forming networks and learning communities provide learners with quick access to share knowledge or find information that is needed at any given time.
Davis, C, Edmunds, E, & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved <2-4-11>, from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/
Fenwick, T., & Tennant, M. (2004). Understanding Adult Learners. In G. Foley, Dimensions of adult learning: Adult education and training in a global era. McGraw-Hill Education.
Kop, R., & Hill, A. (2008). Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past? International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning , 1-13.