“Connectivism” speaks to me

I just finished reading Downes, S (2011) “Connectivism and connective knowledge”. Huffington Post.  Link .

Thoughts/Cool Quote:  In a connectivist course…

  • “everything (sic) is optional.” (open learning!  read the materials most helpful to you!)
  • “the process of taking the course is itself much more important than the content participants may happen to learn in the course”
  • “a learner is immersed within a community of practitioners and introduced to ways of doing the sorts of things practitioners do, and through that practice, becomes more similar in act, thought and values to members of that community” (i.e. a person becomes a data analyst by doing data analysis with other data analysts)
  • Live in the community by doing things like… (very general and not to be committed to memory)
    • “aggregation”–  manage the material (readings, activities, things to watch) that learners discover in one area so that others can use them too, if they want
    • “remixing”– connect the material to other, perhaps tangential, content or thoughts and record it somewhere- publicly or privately (as I am doing now in this blog entry)
    • “repurposing”– this is creating something, doing something, using the knowledge you found in the content and in the other class participants.  “Nobody ever creates something from nothing>”
    • “feeding forward”– if you can, share the work you’ve done
  • knowledge is “complicated, distributed, mixed…looks differently to different people, inexpressible, tacit, mutually understood but never articulated”

This pedagogy has always resonated with me because I have always learned by doing.  I taught myself to swim, for instance. I am now teaching myself (through courses, to be sure but more from doing projects than listening) how to gather, analyze, visualize, and report on data.  I avoid lecture courses because I learn very little.  I don’t memorize– I know how to look stuff up when I need it. (Ex:  I looked up how to read case law here), I learn by interacting with my classmates, too… I’m very happy to be using classroomsalon in Charles Lang’s class “Data Science in Education” course.  I get frustrated in large classes when, because 1/n is polite, I can only speak once an hour, if that.  I love it when we get to turn to our neighbor.  I love it when we’re asked to learn how to write a blog by actually writing one.

OK, enough… more reading to do… more to come!

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