What is Connectivism?

September 11, 2008 at 10:15 pm Leave a comment

I finally got round to reading Downes’ blog about What Connectivism is and I have retrieved some of the statements he made:

1. Knowledge is not acquired.

2. “Knowledge is, on this theory, literally the set of connections formed by actions and experience.”

3. A phrase like ‘constructing meaning’ makes no sense.

4. “in connectivism, there is no real concept of transferring knowledge, making knowledge, or building knowledge.”

I had to re-read these statements again because I felt there are some contradictory ideas in What is Connectivism or What it is not?

Point 1, to put it simply, seems similar to the Constructivist position in that the connectivist and constructivst approaches both reject the acquisition metaphor of the old learning theories in favour of the “newer” participatory metaphors of learning theories (borrowing the terms from Sfard, 1998). (After reviewing point 3, this is a clear departure from the constructivist approach)

In terms of Point 2, it seems to make connectivism a way of connecting dots of some networks (human to human or human to computer or is it possible computer to computer).

Constructing knowledge makes no sense in connectivism. So does this mean that knowledge does not grow or contract. It exists, it is there and we just need to recognise the patterns!

And then there is no transfer/creation of knowledge in connectivism, yet connections are formed via interactions or associations. So if there is no transfer of knowledge, can change be effected in the networks (h2h, h2c, c2c)? The connections happen naturally, inescapably? Isn’t learning about change (behaviourist approaches). Why is this called a learning theory? Why not a theory of knowledge?

This is my initial reactions to his piece.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

Connectivism as a learning theory? What can we gain for our understanding of educational blogging from learning as acquisition and learning as participation perspectives?

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