Developing Connectivist Knowledge

Based on the article written by Stephen Downes, its major tenet is that knowledge is distributed across a network. It is not acquired. Learning is a formation of connections.  these connections are the people that we interact with, resources that we read, see, and listen to.  Belief and knowledge are the result of specific connections. Knowledge is complex, distributed and mixed with other content, and has different perspectives.  This is the method for teaching and learning:

Aggregation: you collect a variety of materials relevant to a topic. Learners choose and pick the ones to read. They are not expected to read all materials. “There is not central content to the course.” This idea is puzzling to me.  I interpret it as there is a general topic but the specific direction or point has not been determined beforehand.  Learners choosing their materials will emphasize different perspectives which serves as the basis for discussion and learning.

Remixing: This is where you make personal connections, associations made by classmates, and making connections with other resources.

Repurposing: With the knowledge that you have gained you have to create something.

Feeding Forward: This means sharing your new knowledge or creation with others.

This would mean that when we learn something new we are creating a new network in our brain.  And things that we memorize are strong connections that we use often repetitively or has had a lasting impact.  We develop different connections when applying this knowledge into practice as opposed to reading about it.

Reading this article helped to better understand connectivism, particularly the four points. The theory is similar to reading strategy I use which is making insights.  Students analyze and make notes on a particular reading passage and then use supplemental resource(s) to gain further knowledge about their findings.  I like the idea of repurposing this knowledge to create something new. I think it would make the learning much more meaningful. Having students create a blog would be a good idea to express and share their ideas.  It’d like for them to develop into a network but not sure of the effectiveness considering that we my classes focus on a new topic every week.  Other constraints to consider: 1:1 tutoring, 25 minute periods, students who take a variety of after school academic classes, second language learners.


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