Connectivism has been described by George Siemens, its original proponent, as a learning theory for the digital age. As such, connectivism is often referenced when people talk about MOOCs or learning with OER. Most learning theories were developed prior to the digital, networked age and have been adapted to fit with it, whereas connectivism was developed specifically in response to the possibilities offered by a global network. The question ‘Does this give us anything new?’ is also relevant for connectivism, as some of the criticism about it has been that connectivism repackages existing ideas.
In the next activity we’d like you to read a paper by George Siemens outlining his theory of connectivism. We’d then like you to read a blog post by Stephen Downes in which he explains his perspective on what connectivism is, and also attempts to address some criticisms of it.