Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Connectivism is about you!

Are you in EdTech or the Online Education field? If so, this blog posting will interest you.

George Siemens and Stephen Downes will be co-facilitating a course this Fall hosted by the University of Manitoba on the topic of Connectivism. This Learning Theory is relatively new and is built on the central tenet that learning is the process of creating connections and developing a network. Clearly, recent advances in Web 2.0 technologies like social networking are major players in the development of this learning theory. For more information on the theory of Connectivism you can find a general resource on Wikipedia.

The best part of this course is you can have a choice to 1) take it for FREE in a non-credit fashion, or 2) take it for credit in a paid-for version. Regardless, all students are put together into one cohort to research the topic of Connectivism. There's going to be videos, blogs, rss feeds, discussions - everything that fits into the Connectivism model will be woven into this course.

The course wiki goes on to further describe the course as:

"Connectivism and Connective Knowledge is a twelve week course that will explore the concepts of connectivism and connective knowledge and explore their application as a framework for theories of teaching and learning. It will outline a connectivist understanding of educational systems of the future. George Siemens and Stephen Downes – the two leading figures on connectivism and connective knowledge - will co-facilitate this innovative and timely course.

This course will help participants make sense of the transformative impact of technology in teaching and learning over the last decade. The voices calling for reform do so from many perspectives, with some suggesting 'new learners' require different learning models, others suggesting reform is needed due to globalization and increased competition, and still others suggesting technology is the salvation for the shortfalls evident in the system today. While each of these views tell us about the need for change, they overlook the primary reasons why change is required."

Last Sunday night (July 27th, 2008), EdTechTalk did a talk show on this course with participation by Stephen Downes, George Siemens, Alec Couros and Leigh Blackall. It now has almost 1200 registrants! WOW - 1200! If you are interested in this course, you might want to have a listen to the audio recording of EdTechTalk #81.

It's going to be a very interesting experiment. I'll be there. Will you?

Note: photo attribution.