Thursday, September 30, 2010


State Primary School students using XO computers in Uruguay
Connectivism is a learning theory of the digital age that has been developed by George Siemens and Stephen Downes based on their analysis of the limitations of behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism to explain the effect technology has on how we live, how we communicate and how we learn. Taking into account that Connectivism is a learning theory for the digital age, it is crucial for us to be updated and study the current use of technology, the decision making processes it entails and the effects on education both on a personal and an institutional level.

Connectivism is based on a Learning Ecology, in which Filters (values, beliefs and perspectives) have a crucial role in the learning process together with Conduits (language, media and technology):

Thus, we have to make wise use of technology to manage resources. In Uruguay, for example, students love to use mobile phones in class and they text all the time. Well, if you can´t fight them, you´d better join them and make the most of it. 

Similarly, there is an educational program called Plan Ceibal, in which xo computers are incorporated into the classroom for classwork and homework since each Primary School student has one for free. This has been a successful experience but some research on it is required, especially in reference to the network value, in which integration and multi-dimensional process be evaluated, and the different Dimensions of Learning be studied.

I think Alex Hayes´ research will be enlightening on the issue since it will inform on reliable applied contexts for technologies in an educational setting, policy development to guide the dimensions of application and will probably identify the implications of technology on educational arrangements.


  1. Connectivism interleaves Alex's work and I'm certainly a fan of George and Stephen and Dave Cormier who have been teaching versions of what I'm doing here but on a massive scale. I think connectivism has to be accepted by teachers and then it will trickle down to students. It's a way of learning, the way we are experiencing here, where there is no one learning path, there are many and you choose. But you will choose a path where others will help you. Will that work with young learners? How can we encourage them to find and choose paths where others can help them in their learning journeys?

  2. Well, that´s exactly what I thought when I read about it. I couldn´t help making connections with the way we are working in this course! There are many paths, different directions and the good thing about it is that it is autonomous and exploratory. We are learning by doing with some scaffolding and lots of trials and errors as well.