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Connectivism: Compelling Theory

The Informational Learning Blog Performance Support & Connectivism, written by Jay Cross, October 30th, 2007, quotes New York Times columnist David Brooks, who has written a description of acquiring and becoming dependent on a GPS (Cross, 2007). See The Outsourced Brain ( Brooks, 2007).

Cross asks, "Why should I learn something if I can look it up if I need to? The new insight is that we are each responsible for our own instructional design. We must ask ourselves whether we want to learn something or just to learn how to find it." Cross is correct. In Connectivism, "the capacity to know is more critical than what is currently known" (2007). Lifelong learners are seeing that Connectivism is very relevant in all areas of education. The information educators have acquired over the last few years shows that more paradigm shifts are occuring in technology and education than ever before. As we network and make connections with other educators, we see ourselves finding that what was once true may no longer be true. I believe Connectivism highlights a lifelong personal observation that the more we learn, the more we see there is to learn. If we network, we realize we do not have to know it all, just where to find it.

This concept is very important when you look at the learning difficulties of some students. There is too much content out there for them to learn and why should they learn it if they can know where to find what they need when they need it? We need to stream line learning standards so that students are taught more about technology and how to find information and less about memorizing content. Our role as educator is changing from one who delivers content to one who assists students in their search for learning networks.