Here I am a month into my last grad class before the magic of a M.Ed can be placed behind my name. The newest task for my EC&I 832 class is to look at learning theory and how it connects to what I’m doing in my classroom. Immediately I started thinking about George Siemens who I was introduced to in my EC&I 831 class. I remember leaving the session with my head bouncing around concepts like “connectivisim,” “connected learning, “emergent curriculum” and the power of networks. It has taken a  bit of time for everything to roll around and emerge as some concrete thoughts for me to work with.

Connectivism:

  • knowledge as networked
  • learning as connecting, creating
  • systemic impact: designing education to optimize the value of networks

Siemens made the point that networks are complex despite their apparent simplicity. This led to a discussion on the value of networks, what our networks look like and when do we introduce networks to students. Since that first discussion I’ve developed learning networks for myself and my students  to expand our learning opportunities. In the last two years my students have participated in blogging challenges, 1001 Tales, collaborative projects, exchanges with Imagiverse, Around the World in 80 Schools and continued blogging with classblogmeister. Recently, I introduced  Twiducate to my students as a way to connect within the classroom. Siemens work supports the ways that I can facilitate learning in my classroom through connections.

My own learning has developed through my Twitter network, colleagues that I’ve collaborated with in the past and various Ning groups. I regularly chat with colleagues through online networks as we share project ideas, technical help and new learning.

The one comment that Siemens made that I continue to think about is“one new piece of information opens up a whole new area of learning.” Isn’t this the truth.

Advertisements