Tag Archives: Stephen Downes

Learning is the formation of connections

At its heart, connectivism is the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks. Knowledge, therefore, is not acquired, as though it were a thing. It is not transmitted, as though it were some type of communication.

What we learn, what we know — these are literally the connections we form between neurons as a result of experience. The brain is composed of 100 billion neurons, and these form some 100 trillion connections and it is these connections that constitute everything we know, everything we believe, everything we imagine. And while it is convenient to talk as though knowledge and beliefs are composed of sentences and concepts that we somehow acquire and store, it is more accurate — and pedagogically more useful — to treat learning as the formation of connections.

Stephen Downes via http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/connectivism-and-connecti_b_804653.html

As a school leader, are you facilitating robust STUDENT connections to other resources, individuals, and networks?

As a school leader, are you facilitating robust EDUCATOR connections to other resources, individuals, and networks?

Suppose students were rewarded for cooperation

Suppose instead students were rewarded for cooperation. Not collaboration; this is just the school-level emulation of the creation of cliques and corporations. Cooperation, which is a common and ad hoc creation of interactions and exchanges for mutual value. Cooperative behaviours include exchanges of goods and services, agreement on open standards and protocols, sharing of resources in common (and open) pools, and similar behaviours.

Imagine receiving academic credit for contributing well-received resources into open source repositories, whether as software, art, photography, or educational resources. Imagine receiving credit for long-lasting additions to Wikipedia or similar online resources (we would have to fix Wikipedia, as it is now run by a gang of thugs known as Wikipedia editors). We can have wide-ranging and nuanced evaluations of such contributions, not simple grades, but something based on how the content contributed is used and reused across the net (this would have the interesting result that your assessment could continue to go up over time).

Stephen Downes via http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2012/08/new-forms-of-assessment-measuring-what.html

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