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The Internet Has Drastically Altered The Nature Of Learning

2194 words - 9 pages


Over the past decade the internets ubiquitous nature has drastically altered the nature of learning. With the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies students have begun to manage their learning activities in new ways. Learning in this new paragigm can and does take place at anywhere and at anytime… “in the family, in hobbies, at work, in acommunity etc.” (Siemens & Tittenberger, 2009). Web 2.0 technologies have altered teacher and students manage their learning activities. The learning theory connectivism attempts to explaining learning in terms of connection, networks and interactions where the learners create, share and exchange their knowledge.

George Siemens in his 2004 article “Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age” denounced traditional and current theoretical models of learning such as behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism. Siemens (2004) defined connectivism this way:
“Connectivism is the integration of principles explored by chaos, network, and complexity and self-organization theories. Learning is a process that occurs within nebulous environments of shifting core elements not entirely under the control of the individual. Learning (defined as actionable knowledge) can reside outside of ourselves (within an organization or a database), is focused on connecting specialized information sets, and the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowledge.” (Siemens, 2004)
Connectivism considers the principles of networks in order to redefine the concepts of knowledge and learning. In the connectivist learning theory knowledge is distributed
over network connections in an uncontrollable ways “thus relation patterns can be extracted, and therefore, learning consists of recognizing relevant information patterns and constructing new connections.” (del Moral, Cernea, Villalustre, 2013)
Critics of the connectivist learning theory posit that connectivism is not a new learning theory but a pedagogical philosophy where students need to create real world connections in order to develop networking skills that will allow them to manage their knowledge effectively in an information society. Others call connectivism as an “emerging epistemology framework” (Shriram & Warner, 2010) while (Kerr, 2006) asserts that the “connection between internal and external knowledge environments” were conveyed in Vygotsky’s social constructivism (Powell & Kalina, 2009).
Notwithstanding these critiques, current learning theories characterize how we gain knowledge and understand what is being taught. Connectivism on the other hand is the integration of ideas through chaos, network complexity and self-organization. The premise of connectivism is that the knowledge is stored in a network of connections and that the process of learning is the ability to create from and navigate through these networks.(Downes, 2007)
According to Siemens’, tradional and current learn theories needed to adapt to the...

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