As the semester wraps up, we are now on to connectivism in one of my Instructional Design courses. This is the first time I have chosen to incorporate a “featured image” in one of my posts, but when I saw this, it just made sense to me. This image implies movement. To me, it also implies speed – moving so fast you don’t really see much, which reminds somewhat of technology today.
Connectivism is a lot like the lights captured in this image. In connectivism, the learner connects ideas to emotions and through the use of digital media. Learners can learn more and more quickly – almost bypassing the “means” in the means to an end scenario – by plugging into and filtering through existing media.
While I understand this very basic premise of connectivism, I wonder what is lost. Other learning theories, which are much more deeply rooted in research, claim that some high-level learning occurs when the mind is able to process and think about what it is learning – something that is very true in my personal experience.
So what happens when learners skip that “means?” My suspicion? The learning never makes it to long-term memory. So while the learner spent less time learning and perhaps had access to greater amounts of resources, that learning is superficial and temporary – not so “connected” after all.