Saturday, 8 January 2011

Connecting with Connectivism

I’ve read so many blogs, so many research papers and listened to so many speeches recently that have all made the point that we cannot begin to imagine what job titles will be given in the near future, let alone the skills needed.

I’ve decided to tinker with something called MOOC. It stands for Massive Open Online Course and the one that I’m interested in (I think it may be the first and only one) focuses on the recently modern theory of Connectivism. I am interested in the idea that the skills and tools that children need to prepare themselves for an unknown future need to be learnt through experience and discussion with others. It sounds like Constructivism for the 21st Century and beyond. 
The course seems to be pitched at teachers of adult education but I am interested in the application of online networks , twitter, GLOW and creation and collaboration online in Primary School settings. I’ve embedded the introduction video for anyone who may be interested and will post my thoughts here as I progress through the course. Obviously being halfway through my PGDE, I haven’t a huge amount of time to spend on this but please feel free to post comments, contributions etc. I’m really interested to hear from teachers who have already engaged in this idea.

The two questions knocking around my head at the moment are:
1)Is it all about ‘knowledge’?
2) Are we/can we really ever be really effective at filtering and quickly evaluating the amount of knowledge that we are now exposed to and still trust it’s integrity?

Principles of connectivism:
  • Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.
  • Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
  • Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
  • Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
  • Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
  • Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
  • Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
  • Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.


You can find the course information here

*DISCLAIMER! I am exploring this with an open mind and having just read some of the different reactions to the theory, my head is spinning. Perhaps by my 12th week  I’ll be blogging a conclusion or perhaps by my 12th teaching year  I’ll have figured out the pedagogy!

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