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WE/ME in epedagogy design » Blog Archive » Connectivism



another interesting article from George Siemens on Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. See also http://www.connectivism.ca

7 Responses to “Connectivism”

  1. weytan Says:

    This is an interesting essay on a ‘new’ approach to learning. Though I find it a little exclusive, stating that

    “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 through technology.”

    Of course it is a question of what you perceive as technology – for Siemens it seems to be the Hardware of an Internet society – but cognitivism and constructivism both are based upon the principles of cybernetics, which in turn corresponds to the development of the first computing machines in the 40ies.
    Social constructivism furthermore addresses the dynamics of knowledge generation in communities and societes, though on a longer timescale.

    So this hinted dramatic paradigm shift from a non-technological approach of learning to an adequately technical one is, from my point of view, an illusion.
    Learning theories will always be the offspring of new media technology.
    It would be a real paradigm shift, if this were the other way round – as it is with Science Fiction.

  2. connectivism2 Says:

    This subject was included as an self imposed encore in my h-burg presentation. So once more:

    What is new with connectivism for me is that it emphases the role of the technology in learning prosess and specifically in elearning environments.
    (wey´s point of cybernetics is interesting indeed, I will return it later)

    A central tenet of most learning theories (those 3 mentioned, excluding for exampel deconstructivism) is that learning occurs inside a person. Even social constructivist views, which hold that learning is a socially enacted process, promotes the principality of the individual (and her/his physical presence – i.e. brain-based) in learning. These theories do not address learning that occurs outside of people (i.e. learning that is stored and manipulated by technology). They also fail to describe how learning happens within organizations.

    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.(chaos theory)

    Theorethical ground of connectivism lies on trialogical learning consentrated on those forms of learning where learners are collaboratively developing, transforming, or creating shared objects of activity (such as conceptual artefacts, practices, products) in a systematic fashion. Trialogical learning concentrates on the interaction through these common objects (or artefacts) of activity, not just between people (“dialogical approach”), or within one’s mind (“monological” approach).

    Phenomenocally speaking connectivism sounds and feels as a suitable theory for ubiquitousness pedagogy. Closely related approach might allso be “swarm intelligens”.

  3. connectivism2 = Raimo Says:

    I´m participating in a eLearning (un)conference in Helsinki 16-17/11 .

    Connectivism and George Siemens is included in a discussion group dealing with modern learning theories. In the conference blog one guy regarded Siemens as a light weight theorist : “Where is the beef in his arguments, according to Siemens´ own list of reference the basic pedagogical studies seem to be missing.”

    Good point! Is George and his connectivism just like er..flower power humbo jumbo??? I´m looking forward next week.

  4. Stefan Sonvilla-Weiss Says:

    Interesting Raimo, maybe you post a link to the conference venue and blog where we can read more about beef and vegetarian alternatives…

  5. Moira Says:

    Late post is better than any post at all – I think.

    I participated in a discussion group where George Simens was vividly debated. Unfortunately we couldn´t go much deeper in his theory because most of group members hadn´t the slightest idea who George Siemens was and what his connectivism is about.

    Raimo Parikka, how told us to be a fun of Siemens, claimed that Siemens´ connectivism as a pedagogical framework is more suitable for further studies than for exampel for school kids.

    Teemu Leinonen, the opponet, has posted on the conference blog about weak points in Siemens´argumentation. He have found many of them, but to be honest and fair, Teemu is disconnecting separate sentences and thoughts from the text trying to make Siemens look unqualified.

    “Even social constructivist views, which hold that learning is a socially enacted process, promotes the principality of the individual (and her/his physical presence – i.e. brain-based) in learning. These theories do not address learning that occurs outside of people (i.e. learning that is stored and manipulated by technology). They also fail to describe how learning happens within organizations.” By this quotation Leinonen rejects connectivism and argues that Siemens would not pass the basic level of pedadogical exam.

    Parikka is doing his best in trying to convict Leinonen about the very opposite.
    According to him Siemens is circulating as a key speaker in many international seminars, the latest was in Online Educa Berlin conference where Siemens had a Keynote presentation based on his new book. Parikka is convinced that this kind of peer reviews proofs that Siemens is not to be taken as a cheapjack.

    Leinon & Parikka seems to be two “tough” names in in epedagogical playground in Finland. But nevermind It might be better if you have a look of your own in the brand new book of George Siemens that is availble for online reading Knowing Knowledge

  6. Teemu Leinonen Says:

    Thank you for reporting my critical views on George Siemens’ Connectivism. Unfortunately I was not able to take part in the session itself where the topic was finally discussed.

    I am not alone. Have a look:


    I also found it interesting that, according to my reporter in site, Siemens didn’t even mention Connectivism in his Online Educa keynote.

  7. Moira Says:

    No doubt Teemu, there are more of us with not so affirmativ approach to Siemens. Paul Kerr for exampel, regarding to Siemens´total disrespect for behaviourism, cognitivism and social constrictivism, he says that: “I get the feeling that George (Siemens) is dismissing earlier theories too much. I like his connectivism theory but would like to see it connected to the other theories, not cut off from them”.

    Here you can find Paul Kerr commenting Teemu Arinas interview on George Siemens:

    Despite of the fact that there is discursive attraction in Siemens´ writings, it wouldn´t harm to have a critical view in his slogan driven argumentation.

    What about close reading his new book, where he tries in more detailed way to position the shotcomings of earlier pedagogical theories?

    By the way there is an fun and illuminating slideshow of his theory in flickr:

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