Monday, October 1, 2012

Connectivism: The Atom Kernel Within Magnetic Fields

Key words: Organization, Individual, Interdisciplinary Studies

In Connectivism: A Learning Theory  for the Digital Age, George Seimens  maintained “Technology has reorganized how we live, how we communicate, and how we learn.”  Hence, in such a digital era  learner is like an atom kerne (individual) within a magnetic field (organization) around it. “The organization and individual are both learning organisms.” The organization is like a magnetic field, within which each individual has certain role and contribution to make learning possible. The individuals with similar minds and common interests will contribute as a whole, while each of them can benefit from the organization. The content of learning tends to involve a variety of different, possibly unrelated fields, so interdisciplinary studies have become the current trends. However, it is the leaner who has the force to attract other learners or align himself/herself in an external magnetic field, like “communities of practice, personal networks, and through completion of work-related tasks.” 

The efficiency of information flow and the learning ecology of the organization is a vital element to maintain the organizational effectiveness. As for learning ecology, learners are both knowledge consumer and creator. Information is created, shared and processed. Each individual within the organization can get benefits to certain extent. 

In The Changing Nature of Knowledge, George Siemens expounds the nature of knowledge in current trend and the concept of connectivism. He mentioned, "the learners themselves and the connection they formed among each other with data basis and other source of knowledge is really the primary point of learning." Hence, learning happens within the network. Knowledge is really about the distribution that occurs that entire network, which contains two components: the internal neuronetwork, that how our brain creat learning itself in a network manner; the external network, that learning is to form and make connection with each other  and with other individuals. This is a very practical aspect of learning in such a digital age. Learners can make connection with other individuals and other resources. They can control the learning process by joining or forming the right network that facilitate and incubate their learning.