Week 1: What is connectivism?
- Connectivism is more than the sum of the parts
My initial rather humble thought about "what is connectivism?" is simply that by being connected we get more than the sum of parts.
A bunch of wiki pages, for example, scattered about is less useful in many respects than a bunch of wiki pages which are inter-linked.
- Connectivism is complicated
I guess connectivity theory might suggest that connectivity between learners may facilitate their learning? On face value this can often seem to be the case. But it is more complicated - e.g., we may run into limitations such as Dunbar's number and too much connectivity may even be detrimental.
A Deweyian approach would probably say that the proof is in the pudding - or in our case - in the dog food (reference to comment by Downes in the first CCK09 session - i.e., that in this course, we aim to eat our own dog food - if we're talking about connectivism, let's do connectivism).
- Connectivism is old
The more I think and learn about connectivism, the more it seems to me that connectivity has always been important and that we are simply exploring connectivity's potential in our current cultures with new technology tools (such as the internet and web 2.0). Downes' and Siemens' thinking, research, and teaching into, about, and through connectivism, nevertheless is fascinating, worthwhile, and timely and may even be most notable for articulating and highlighting something we've always been doing when we learn, a skill/quality which is now vastly extendable with internet and web2.0 technologies. And the course is very successful in eating its own dog food, with knowledgeable experts at the helm, all helping to make it authentic.
My main suggestion, then, is that connectivity theory could be strengthened by acknowledging its evolutionary role and historical importance, as opposed to positing it as a distinctly new learning theory.