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Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge

Stephen has put together a nice paper on Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge: “The purpose of this paper is to outline some of the thinking behind new e-learning technology, including e-portfolios and personal learning environments. Part of this thinking is centered around the theory of connectivism, which asserts that knowledge – and therefore the learning of knowledge – is distributive, that is, not located in any given place (and therefore not ‘transferred’ or ‘transacted’ per se) but rather consists of the network of connections formed from experience and interactions with a knowing community.”
The first section of the article presents Stephen’s philosophical (theoretical) views on factors impacting elearning. He covers communication theory, language, transactional distance, neural networks, etc – a well-argued background that I’ll be referring to in future presentations. He then moves through connectivism, networked learning (I quite enjoy his discussion of network semantics – a discussion he started with his connective knowledge paper), elearning 2.0, PLEs, etc. Much to digest.

In a recent meeting with researchers in online learning, I made the point that people are not as interested in research journals and reports as they may have been in the past. In the edublog space, many bloggers (Stephen, Will Richardson, David Warlick, etc.) carry the authority (and corresponding citations) of well-known journals. If formal researchers play a key role in advancing our field…but they appear to be speaking a language that is not being heard by practitioners (who are finding their authority in a relationship of trust with individuals who have been transparent in their online writing and theorizing).