Connectivism Controversy

Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age, by George Siemens (December 2004). ‘Behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism are the three broad learning theories most often utilized in the creation of instructional environments. These theories, however, were developed in a time when learning was not impacted by technology. Over the last twenty years, technology has reorganized how we live, how we communicate, and how we learn. Learning needs and theories that describe learning principles and processes should be reflective of underlying social environments. Vaill emphasizes that “learning must be a way of being – an ongoing set of attitudes and actions by individuals and groups that they employ to try to keep abreast o the surprising, novel, messy, obtrusive, recurring events…†(1996, p.42).’

Connectivism Controversy

Connectivism: A New Learning Theory?, by Pløn Verhagen (November 2006). ‘George Siemens claims in his 2004 article “Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age” that the connectivism that he proposes is a learning theory. A learning theory which he characterizes as the “amplification of learning, knowledge, and understanding through the extension of a personal networkâ €. He uses the example of senior citizens that have been linked as mentors to elementary school pupils as a striking example. However, this is not a learning theory, but a pedagogical view on education with the apparent underlying philosophy that pupils from an early age need to create connections with the world beyond the school in order to develop the networking skills that will allow them to manage their knowledge effectively and efficiently in the information society. What knowledge the pupils need to have and what knowledge can remain distributed elsewhere or should be developed elsewhere is an issue which the pupils themselves have an active voice in.’

Connectivism: Learning Theory or Pastime for the Self-Amused?, by George Siemens (November 2006). ‘It is always an honor to have one’s work reviewed – even (or perhaps, especially) when it is critical in nature. Ideas, concepts, and theories are sharpened, or dulled, in the space of dialogue and scrutiny.
I recently had the pleasure of reading a critique by Pløn Verhagen (2006), Professor, Educational Design, University of Twente, of my 2004 article, “Connectivism: A Learning Theory for a Digital Age.” My appreciation exists on two levels: (a) Verhagen’s time in reflecting on and reacting to the article, and (b) the provision of an opportunity to further dialogue about connectivism’s relation to the process of learning, development of technology, societal trends, and pedagogy and curriculum.’

Connectivism – A Learning Theory for Today’s Learner

UpdateConnectivism Online Conference. ‘Connectivism Online Conference is an open online forum exploring how learning has been impacted by ongoing changes. The conference will run from February 2 – 9, 2007.
Key themes will include trends in the K-12 sector, trends in higher education, research and net pedagogy, technological and societal trends, and connective knowledge and connectivism.’

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Updated: July 24, 2018 — 8:26 am

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