Connectivism and its Implication – Part 2

I think we still need educators, from K-12, and Higher Education. We would even need more experienced educators to help and support our fellow educators and learners in this technology mediated learning environment.

This may imply that those educators could include some of us who are educators or learners in different domains and areas. Each of us could contribute to the education and learning of learners who are riding on a rapidly changing social and educational landscape, under different Web 2.0 learning platforms and spaces – Blogs, wikis, Nings, Facebook, Youtube, Twitters, Delicious, etc. These could complement and supplement the education and learning from and with the teachers and professors from K-12 and higher education.

When learners and educators (including us) are emerged in social and community learning networks, they could more closely be connected to each other. Further interactions and collaborations within such communities and networks would benefit both the educators and learners. These would be the essence of Wisdom of the Crowds due to the emergence of learning resulting, and that results in a gain in Social Capital benefiting the communities and societies.

These social networks and communities are pervasive.   We could easily identify the blogging communities, Facebook, Wikis, Nings, Slideshares, Teachers Tubes, Youtubes, Twitterers and Mobile Communities where people are sharing their learning and resources on a level-learning ground.

The altruistic spirits of these educators and learners coupled with a passion of learning, a willingness of collaboration and sharing in their learning journey have already inspired others in joining the communities and networks.

Our Community on Connectivismeducationlearning was also evolved as a response to the need of connections and collaborations amongst educators, professors and interested expert learners and learners.

So, the outcome of a connectivist approach to learning will leverage the enriched distributed learning out of the informal learning networks, and this would complement and supplement the learning out of the formal education system.

We would become both educators and learners at the same time in our pursuit of life long and life wide learning.

What is important is the empowerment of our learners and ourselves (as learners and educators) in the learning process, so we could enjoy learning together. Our learner’s use of Personal Learning Environment (PLN), Web 2.0 and support from us as educators could greatly assist the learner to learn in a way that suit their needs and expectations – i.e. learning with whom, when, where, what, and how they would like to learn.

If we see ourselves as a learner (not just a teacher or educator), then we would be humble enough to learn from and through each other. This will remove the barriers which prevent us from reaching our fellow educators and learners, who may not feel comfortable learning from authorities who dictate the learning process.

When learning is distributed across the networks, then the learner could be able to learn the multiple perspectives of experts, fellow educators and learners. Such learning would be highly enriched when they are sourced from such distributed resources of networks, and communities rather than single source of information.

If our communities and networks are fully devoted to support our fellow educators and learners, then such practice would not only reinforce the importance of education and learning in our society, but could further support our educational institutions – our universities in particular in providing leading edge and 21st century education for our learners.

Would education and learning be everyone’s business? Would we need to rely on the endeavour  and passions of our educators and learners to lead the way?

Are there still tensions between informal learning and formal education system?

What are some of the issues arising from the adoption of networked learning in formal education system?

How could we overcome those issues?

Connectivism and its implication (Part 1)

Kelly in her post on Theorising about Connectivism  wrote:

The main conclusion was that learners still want to be led by an instructor and not necessarily wander through the vast web networks selecting information on their own, or learning entirely in informal ways. Kop and Hill think this method would diminish the learning required for formal education. Thus, they feel critical engagement, developed thinking and debates need guidance. Guidance could also include the best uses of technology.

Though the authors realize newer generations are more adept at using modern technology and new softwares than are older students and even institutions, this does not give license to removing tutors or minimizing their role as a facilitator. There must be leaders in the learning process that offer critical and localized influence, as believed by Freire. Kop states “nearly all students preferred the help and support of the local or online tutor to guide them through resources and activities, to validate information, and to critically engage them in the course content” (p.8).

What are your responses to these concepts and application of connectivism in learning?

Rita commented that not everyone is an autonomous learner, and that there are quite a few people who need a critical tutor to help them in learning.

I think there are lots of occasions when learners require the support and encouragement from their educators.  That is also addressed based on connectivism, where distributed learning is emphasised.

Educators have been emphasising the importance of supporting the learners in the learning process under different learning spaces, by creating and providing such learning spaces in an educational institution. 

Educators have also endeavoured in facilitating the learning so their learners could acquire their metacognitive skills, sensemaking, and wayfinding in their learning through networked learning. 

Connectivism explains why and how learning occurs when both educators and learners are continuously connected with credible sources of information, artifacts, experts, educators and other learners in their life long education and learning.

The educators and learners could also explore distributed learning through the immersion and navigation over the learning networks – where each of us could be a node and thus form part of the learning networks or communities.  Such interaction and collaborated learning often leads to emergent learning.

By the time when our learners have mastered those skills, would we encourage  them to further pursue their learning journey by learning with other educators and learners, not only with their teachers and educators? 

Would that be the spirit of open, autonomous and learner’s centred life long education that most educators and learners are looking for and aspiring to? 

Would that be the spirit of connectivism?  Would a connectivist approach towards learning be beneficial to our educators and learners?

Would free open connections and collaboration with other educators and learners on social and education networks be a concern to educators?

 To what extent are teachers required in education and learning in both formal and informal learning? 

What will be the roles of teachers in our formal education system?