The Educator’s Changing Role: Connectivism

February 6, 2008

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.


4 Responses to “The Educator’s Changing Role: Connectivism”

  1. Chrissy H Says:

    Welcome to the amazing world of personal learning networks. I can not begin to explain how helpful, inspiring and motivational my PLN is. I started out following the people whose blogs I was already reading, and as I came across people who were “walking the talk” of 21st century learning in the classroom I followed them. It can be pretty scary when you first start joining in the conversation, especially when you read about what amazing things these educators are doing in the classroom, and you wonder what an earth you could add, but that’s what you do – start joining in the conversation and pretty soon you’re taking part in and trying out new things that you couldn’t possibly have dreamed about! And you begin to feel really connected, and it feels great! Enjoy!

  2. ccossar Says:

    Thanks for your feedback! I really want to keep up with these technologies, so this will help. Keep the advice coming 🙂

  3. The linkages between people and thought online are so intertwined. Online learning communities and Viral PD are fantastic support groups for the converted networked teacher. I have been riffing off the metaphor of my network as my info/resource/ research filter, daily my network sorts through online content and raises certain pieces to the top. That is why I value it so much. At times it is an echo chamber, but it ones responsibility to find , follow and connect to individuals with from a variety of backgrounds. Folks that don’t mind a little debate.

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