Skip to content

Thoughts on Connectivism

Stephen Downes has posted some thoughts on connectivism.

David Wiley replies, saying while interesting, connectivism is incomplete (which I think is great – if it’s complete, we can stop working on it).

In 2008, I posted a short presentation on the various ways in which learning is networked: neural, conceptual, and external.

The defining attribute of connectivism as a theory is that it can explain learning at the biological, conceptual, and interaction level using the same language throughout. Learning biologically is about connection forming. At the conceptual level of knowledge development, it is about connecting and bringing concepts in relation to others. At the physical and external level, it is about social and technological interactions and connections. The connections in the brain and around concepts and around social/technological networks share similar attributes (hubs, tie strength, clustering, etc). While we don’t yet know what that means at a biological/neuronal level, it is clear that these attributes influence how we connect to others, use technology, and develop knowledge. While connectivism was initially seen as a lens of viewing learning, it has developed to the point where actionable pedagogical tactics, self-regulated learning, and design principles can be used to developed connected learning.