Connectivism has four characteristics: autonomy, openness, connectivity, and diversity (Downes, 2010). Autonomy is the ability of individuals to control what they learn and create their own pathways through information. Openness refers to the fact that connections between ideas can be made without regard for discipline or hierarchy. Connectivity is the idea that information flows through many networks instead of being restricted to single channels. Diversity is the inclusion of different points of view within a community.
Autonomy is important because it allows people to choose what they learn and how they learn it. This means that learners become responsible for their own learning.
Openness is important because it allows for new ideas to be introduced into the classroom environment. Without openness, educators would be limited to teaching only what has been planned by others in advance. This would prevent them from ever reaching out to their students' minds instead of just filling them with knowledge.
Connectivity is important because it allows for information to spread quickly throughout a network. If connections were restricted to people, information would not be able to flow as freely between groups of people. It would also limit the amount of feedback that individuals receiving the information could give back to those who gave it to them.
Connectivism is a learning approach that helps guide first-year advising by integrating "principles examined as chaos, network, and complexity theories, as well as self-organization theories," as well as a "knowledge that judgments are built on quickly changing foundations" (Siemens, 2004, para. 23). In other words, connectivism teaches students to study patterns rather than concepts, which helps them understand how what they learn today may be different from what they learned yesterday or tomorrow.
As mentioned, the term "connectivism" was first used by Dean Anderson in 2003. He defined it as "a new way of thinking about knowledge that comes from studying nature's patterns, using computers to analyze large amounts of data, and trying to apply what we learn to problems in science and technology."
In addition to Dean Anderson, other people have also contributed to the development of this educational approach including Peter Mayer, who coined the term "complexity theory"; James MacGregor Burns, who described three phases in the evolution of knowledge; and Jerome Bruner, who studied mental growth through narrative.
According to Dean Anderson, connectivism can be used to teach any subject in any field because it takes into account that knowledge changes over time and that every person has a unique perspective on reality. It also recognizes that there are no single facts or truths, but only patterns that emerge when many different factors are considered together.
"At its core, connectivism is the idea that information is spread throughout a network of connections, and hence that learning consists of the ability to create and traverse those networks," writes Downes. "It implies that what we learn is not stored in our brains but rather it's part of the structure of the world around us."
Downes builds on the work of several other philosophers and scientists, including Vinton Cerf, Aaron Siegel, Marvin Minsky, and David Kirkpatrick.
Their work shows that knowledge is not fixed but rather it's created by people as they interact with one another and study different subjects. For example, when you read about something in the newspaper or online, this information is added to your database of knowledge. If someone asks you a question about what you learned, there are many ways you can answer her/him. You can look it up in an encyclopedia or dictionary, for example, or you can think back to what you read and see how it applies to the situation at hand.
In other words, knowing things well comes from understanding how objects are connected together. Learning new concepts is also important, but only because it allows you to make better decisions later in life or when dealing with unknown situations.
Putting three ideas togetherStephen Downes has highlighted autonomy, connectivity, variety, and openness as essential connectivist components favorable to (or necessary for) network learning. Autonomy because individuals need freedom to learn what they want when they want; connectivity because people communicate constantly and therefore can learn from each other's experiences; variety because there are many ways of knowing and doing things, and so we avoid developing strong opinions about how things should be done; and openness because if we keep our minds closed off from new ideas then we stop growing.
Downes also points out that connectionism is not the only framework useful for understanding network learning. He argues that much social learning takes place through "connective patterns," such as chains or grids of communication, and this type of learning is better understood with reference to statistical theories than cognitive models. Similarly, he notes that technological learning occurs when individuals acquire skills by using technology rather than by thinking about how technologies work. Finally, he points out that some types of collective learning take place when groups benefit from sharing information about themselves with each other (i.e., group selection). This last point reminds us that networks are not simply collections of individuals but are themselves complex entities that may include both positive and negative relationships between parts of the network.
Connectivism is a learning paradigm that recognizes technology's effect on society, personal networks, and work-related activities. Constructivism is a learning theory that proposes that learning is an active process in which learners build, synthesize, and apply new concepts based on their prior and present knowledge. It states that learning occurs when the learner interacts with his or her environment.
In computer science, constructivism is the view that information needs to be created by individuals, not simply transmitted from others. It states that people construct their own understanding of things by combining pieces of existing knowledge together with new insights gained through experience. This process often involves looking at things from different points of view and using theories to make sense of what we see around us.
Constructivists believe that there are three main factors that influence how children learn: experiences, teaching methods, and resources. Experiences are important because they give children opportunities to learn about different subjects. Teaching methods include any actions taken by teachers to help students understand concepts better. Resources include anything that may help children with their learning processes such as books, computers, and training programs.
Children who have more experiences will be able to learn more topics later in life. For example, someone who has never used a computer might not know how to write code for one now, but would be able to learn this new skill later in life once they had more experience using computers.
Connectivism Examples Have you ever been in a meeting when a question is raised that no one can answer, and then a few minutes later, that man who never seems to be interested in the topic (because he is always surfing the web) pipes up with the solution? That is, after all, connectivism. Connectivism is a learning theory that holds that knowledge is not stored in our brains but rather in connections between neurons. In other words, what we know is not something that is attached to certain parts of the brain but rather it's something that is shared by all of humanity.
Neuroscience has shown that brains are hardwired from birth to find information about themselves and their world via feedback from their senses. This process allows us to learn and create new memories which help us survive. The connectivist view is that our minds are not separate from but rather part of this process; that understanding comes from integrating information from different sources, not just remembering facts or learning lessons, and that creation involves more than just thinking about problems and coming up with answers - it also includes imagining solutions and working through challenges.
According to connectivism, knowledge is not stored in our brains but rather it's something that is shared by all of humanity. Science has shown that brains are hard-wired from birth to find information about themselves and their world via feedback from their senses.