George Siemens and Michael Wesch’s podcast about Future Learning, George Siemens’ article Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age, and the presentation that Mr. Siemens gave in our EC&I 831 class, all address these key issues for educators:

1) the extremely rapid speed at which change is occurring – knowledge is quickly obsolete “one new piece of information opens up a whole new area of learning” (presentation) – also check out Alan November’s article Beyond technology: The end of the job and the beginning of digital work

2) the importance of networking to be able to locate information (“Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where” –Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age) and collaborate

3) collaboration is *critical* – needs to be embraced by teachers and students to be successful in the future

4) identifying and securing trust relationships

Teachers ask “how can we teach technology”? There were two great ideas in this area that actually came from our class chat:
1) experiment, reflect, experiment more (Dr. Alec Couros) – sometimes we learn more by “playing” and making mistakes
2) modelling + judgment + trust (Kyle Lichtenwald) – use the technology, teach about using good judgment, build trusting relationships.

I am starting to realize more and more how important the networks we build online can be and how we can start to decide who we want in our network and why these networks are useful. Networking online is a totally new concept to me, but one which I want to delve into more. How have you built your network? What tools did you use and how has it helped to improve your practice? I am interested in your feedback.