Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"In the Know"

The learning theory Connectivism focuses on the changes in our learning environment. Learners of today have access to more new information than ever before. George Siemens advises that this access is due to the increase in information, diversity of opinions, availability of information networks (social, cultural, technological, etc.), complex systems and rapidly changing learning environments (Davis, Edmunds, Kelly-Bateman, 2008).

I use my learning networks to access up to date information at multiple points throughout my day. I may use my coworkers, who have an abundant amount of knowledge about my company or learning development, or I may reach out to a website tool to provide me more information. I take in learning magazines, read books, receive learning related emails, check on blogs and read updates from my favorite theorists. Instead of just one way of learning, network connects me to each source of information to keep me “in the know.”

The best way, I have found, for me to access my learning networks, is with my cell phone. I own a Smart Phone, specifically the Droid 2. At any point throughout my day I can check an email, visit Facebook, post something on my blog, read other blogs and even connect professionally on LinkedIn. All of these technological networks are spots of information that I can learn something from. What I learn on LinkedIn (an abundant information source about my peers, professional groups I have joined, and a news site) may change how I interact later in a course. It may provide me with information on a training to attend nearby or an article to read. When I have questions, I can post a question for my connections on LinkedIn to answer. For example, I read an interesting article about change in organizations. I posted that article to a group in LinkedIn to see what others thought about how leader’s can work to make change occur in an organization (Deutschman, 2005).

As you may have noticed, I believe that Connectivism is an outstanding theory to showcase the changes in learning today. While I love the library, it’s not the only place to do research anymore. As a designer of training, I need to incorporate connections to networks into my training. The more I can assist my students in creating and maintaining their connections to sources of information, the more they will succeed in learning.

Also, see my previous post for a mind map of my learning networks.


Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism

Deutschman, A. (2005, May 1). Change or Die. Fast Company. Retrieved from http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/94/open_change-or-die.html

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