Thursday, March 18, 2010

A learner is like...

In the article Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age, George Siemens states that “Connectivism is the integration of principles explored by chaos, network, and complexity and self-organization theories. Learning is a process that occurs within nebulous environments of shifting core elements- not entirely under the control of the individual (p.5)” After exploring the connectivism theory, I propose that today’s learner is like the ocean. The ocean is a body of water that is impacted, beyond its control, by various aspects in the environment. Winds, waves, tides, gravity… many components of the environment impact the ocean. These elements are constantly changing. As a result, the ocean is never the same from day to day. The ocean ‘goes with the flow’, so to speak. It adapts and changes according to the input of the environmental factors surrounding it. In the same way, today’s learner is like the ocean. To be successful, it is important for the learner to adapt to a complex environment and adjust for the tides of life accordingly. In the video The Changing Nature of Knowledge, Siemens says that “knowledge is really about the distribution that occurs across the entire network.” The network is composed of both the internal mind and the external influences. The video also summarizes that the “network becomes the learning.” By utilizing the entire network, today’s learner, much like the ocean, has the ability to stay ‘current’ and connected.

Video: The Changing Nature of KnowKnowledge

Siemens, G. (2005, January). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, Retrieved November 20, 2005.

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