Stephen Downes, responding to lengthy criticism of connectivism from a learner in the CCK08 class.
We argue that learning occurs in networks, and therefore, that the properties of successful networks are also the properties of successful learning environments. We don’t ‘apply’ this in any strict sense – we would never force people to be connectivists. Indeed, within the learning environment, we believe there should be diversity; we believe people should be free to choose their own form of learning.
- Maybe this is part of my problem as I’m trying to figure out the “right way” or “best practices” for applying connectivism to what I do. There isn’t a right away–Stephen says here we shouldn’t even “‘apply’ this in any strict sense.” – post by christyinsdesign
To me, far more complex – and insightful – forms of reasoning are being created through the interplay among thousands, or millions, of individual content elements. Where each content element may by itself appear to be simple, it is the interconnections between them that creates a much more complex, deep, and rich tapestry of meaning, far more than could be created merely using linguistic devices.
It is substantially harder to work with the disorder and complexity we see within a connectivist network. Because linguistic (syntactical and semantical) descriptions of the concepts and entities in such a network just barely touch the surface, and students must therefore immerse themselves in the process of reasoning in such a system, rather than merely reading about it.