Sunday, 14 September 2008

What is Connectivism?

It's only the first week and I'm already behind schedule, how embarrassing. Either way, here are my reflections on the first week of connectivism:

Levels of analysis
Although not a part of this weeks reading, I did find a lot of value in a video recommended by Clark Quinn: (not Donald Clark as I erroneously said earlier):

It seems to me that a lot of the differences in the various theories and views on learning really boil down to the level of analysis or perspective that you take on the problem. Connectivism in that sense is the result of the analysis of learning within a new level or structure that has been created through new technology.

Aside from the level of analysis, analogies can form another perspective on a problem. Often we start employing an analogy because it aids in the representation of an aspect of an idea. However, analogies are always flawed, and so when we start employing our analogy to liberally we inevitably run into problems. Unfortunately our brain seems to like, and need, simplicity and so we often find ourselves stuck in our own analogy.

The brain as a computer is a very obvious analogy. Knowledge as an object that can be internalised is perhaps also the result of a subconscious analogy. In the days where books were not too abundant and the number of views expressed in them relatively limited perhaps it was logical to see the book as a synonym for knowledge. And so reading the book, internalising it, equivalent to learning. the observation had very little to do with what learning really is. It is more an expression of how learning commonly took place.

And so for the blogging, networking and
podcasting fanatics amongst us, networked learning has become our preferred mode of learning. And while it serves a lot of us very well, I am not sure it actually makes it a theory of learning, or if it is merely an instantiation of it. And to be very precisely, perhaps it is more a means of sense making, more then learning. Learning, to me, is still something I cannot easily separate from the individual.


Clark said...

Um, technically, that's a post by Clark Quinn (er, me), not Donald Clark (admittedly, a very interesting blogger). :)

René Meijer said...

Apologies for that Clark.. I'll change that right now.