Thursday, September 11, 2008

Week 1: What is Connectivism? (September 8-14)

A quick note on constructivism and connectivism as learning theories or approaches:
after following a number of reflections and reading few articles and papers included in pre-week 1 and week 1 Readings, I see or understand that we gain and store knowledge in the memory using constructivie or constructivism approaches. Then, we claim that we know and understand something or a lot of things about certain topics or issues because we remember that we read or heard about these things. The real test of our knowledge and understanding of these certain issues or things happen when we connect with other people - (students, colleagues, friends, or family members, for example) - in any kind of situation, be it formal or informal, face-to-face or online, to talk about or discuss these topics. At this point, we discover how much we know about certain thing, and this is how we know whether we do know or don't about anything and then start searching and learning more through our connections, be it a community of practice online or any other kinds or forms of network or resource we refer to in order to learn more about certain topics aiming to clarify vague knowledge we do have and stored in our memories or to confirm the accuracy or truth about that kind of knowledge. This is what I understand as learning using connectivist approach. So, for me constructivism is the theory that helps us to see how we collect or gain knowledge which we accumulate and store in the long-term memory while connectivism is the theory that helps us test what and how do we know that we know something or a lot of things about anything and how we used and are using this knowledge; in other words connectivism is the practice that helps us see and know how much knowledge we absorbed, understood, learned, and used / are using and also confirms or corrects vague or inaccurate knowledge stored in the memory. This learning or testing process, which is a unique characteristic of the connectivism learning approach or method can only happen through our direct or indirect involvement in or interaction with people or "links" (we know or don't know) in a connected network(s) of learning online preferably since new technologies well support this kind of learning. A good example of all that said above is this very answer of mine here to the main question of Week 1, What Is Connectivism? Notice that I consider my answer here as a good test of my knowledge about Connectivism that I gained and stored in my long-term memory throughout the past few years from following articles and presentations by George Siemens and Stephen Downes and recently from couple of papers and articles new to me and included in Week 1 of the course, CCKC. So, by answering the question, What Is Connectivism? I am also trying to use the knowledge I've absorbed and learned about connectivism, and I am sure that some vague knowledge I have about this concept will either get clarified while I am writing now or would be clarified and become clearer to me through direct comments to my input here or through comments to other posts by other participants to the various platforms of the course network of learners everywhere. Furthermore, I also see that Constructivsm and Connectivism theories of learning work hand in hand, and they cannot work separately or independently! We cannot ignore one on the account of the other because it is impossible to interact and discuss a certain topic through a learning network if we don't have (little or a lot of) knowledge about the topic that has been constructed and stored in the long-term memory earlier. Having said that, I can think of Constructivism as knowledge building system or process or theory that is static and Connectivism as knowledge filtering, learning, practicing, and using / implementing process or theory (dynamic)! I can also think of Constructivism within the framework of individual / personal formal learning while Connectivism is within the framework of social / networked informal learning.

Please note, this answer to the question, "What Is Connectivism?" might be modified, changed, improved throughout the 12-week course time as I am expecting myself to gain, construct, and store more knowledge on connectivism which I'd further filter, absorb, understand, learn, and use later so to be able to grow and move on.

Pre-Week 1

I strongly agree with the quote by the New London Group cited in the paper, Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century, which says “If it were possible to define generally the mission of education,it could be said that its fundamental purpose is to ensure that all students benefit from learning in ways that allow them to participate fully in public,community,[Creative] and economic life.” — New London Group (2000,p.9).

This reminds me of a previous discussion on the question: What Is Multiliteracies? at an online TESOL course (PP107) by Vance Stevens in 2005.

Here is my answer to the question, What Is Multiliteracies?, at that point.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Learning, Connectivism, Social Media - by Robin Good & George Siemens!

Thanks to Robin Good for his time and effort making the interview with George Siemens available for all of us on his And thanks to George Siemens for making things clearer and for explaining concepts many of us are interested in.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Connectivism and Connective Knowledge

This blog created as the first assignment for the online course, Connectivism and Connective Knowledge, by George Siemens and Stephen Downes to be officially started on Monday, September 8, 2008.

I decided to use blogger since I'm used to its features and can handle it better than other blog kinds.

I have started reading the articles and papers assigned as background readings included in the pre-week 1 activities. I have also created a wiki with all needed stuff for this course to make it fast and easy for me to retrieve course material.

I will be posting my self-introduction to the course moodle soon.

I'm already excited like most participants about this course, but I feel a bit overwhelmed and worried about failing to complete some weekly activities, especially those toward middle Sept to end of Oct. as I'll be engaged in preparing and doing two major projects! But I'll try to do my best as I'm so enthusiastic like many participants about this new learning experience.