by Sheryl Hess | September 8, 2008
Over the last twenty years, technology has reorganized how we live, how we communicate, and how we learn. We derive our abilities by forming connections between things – chaos states that the meaning exists – the learner’s challenge is to recognize the patterns which appear to be hidden; meaning-making and forming connections between specialized communities are important (and necessary) activities.
George Siemens developed a theory called connectivism which is a combination of principles involved with chaos, network, complexity, and self-organization theories. Learning is a process that happens within a variety of constantly shifting environments. Look at the explosion of social networking – the fact that my internet favorites are cross-referenced with a community across the world is mind-blowing. I am linked to others that think similarity or have similar interests. It is freakishly scary and intriguing at the same time.
It’s all about connecting the dots.
I recently completed a major dot-connecting project: the comprehensive exam. An unexpected but significant shift in my thought process transpired from the time my questions hit my Inbox until the exam was turned in four weeks later. I become even more conscious about the connections that enable learning are more important than our current state of knowing.