Connectivism

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.

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