A Connectivism Story

28 Oct

“Connectivism presents a model of learning that acknowledges the tectonic shifts in society where learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity.”  ~ George Siemens

This week I had one of those connectivism a-ha! moments.  It started when I gained a new follower on Twitter.  When I checked out his profile to see if I wanted to follow him back, I found a recent post that read “How people are using e-learning and crowdlearning to change education” with a link to the article of the same name.  The article touched on many of the topics we’ve discussed in class including MOOCs and wiki-based collaboration, and it contained a link to a site called Learnist, which was described as “Wikipedia blended with Pinterest and Storify with more stimulating and constructive subjects.”  Intriguing, yes?  Yes!  So, I clicked on it.

Blah, blah, blah… fast forward to this week’s assignment to create a screencast and post it to our blog.  What better way to introduce you to Learnist than to show you!

So this brings me to yesterday when one of my classmates retweeted a blog post about connectivism (with which, if you’ve been following my blog, you know I am enamored). The blogger summarizes some of the main tenants of Siemen’s theory, writing “connectivism argues that digital media have caused knowledge to be more distributed than ever, and it is now more important for students to know where to find knowledge they require, than it is for them to internalise it.”  That’s when I had the a-ha! moment.  Learnist seems to be a wonderful example of that distributed knowledge, and one that I stumbled upon through a new, weak tie in my network. How seemingly random that that individual saw something in my profile that caused him to follow me, and how serendipitous that upon exploring his profile I found that particular post.  (And yes, I am now following him, too.)

What connections have you made in your PLN that have led you to cool, new discoveries?


Posted by on October 28, 2012 in ADLT 641


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9 responses to “A Connectivism Story

  1. jshill2

    October 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Awesome post, and screencast! Getting this insider’s glimpse of Learnist was very helpful for me…I think I might have to request an account, as well. I love the story of how you came across this resource– definitely a great example of weak ties paying off.

    • Joanne Even

      October 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      I probably should have opened one of the board on Learnist to show you that it gives you way more of a description of each item vs. how Pinterest displays items on your boards. Definitely check it out!

  2. Lindsey

    October 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Wow, I read this same article (that I’m pretty sure I discovered on Twitter did you tweet/retweet it?) on my phone when I was on the way to Charlottesville. I was intrigued by the description of Learnist but was discouraged when I went to the site and saw it was still in Beta and tried to figure it out using a small screen. From there I honestly forgot about it. My point in telling you all this? I’m glad you’re a part of my PLN because not only did a valuable learning site resurface but thanks to your screencast I have a better understanding of its capabilities. Now the question is does Learnist function as a collaborative tool like Pinterest? Also, can I get an invite? 🙂

    • Joanne Even

      October 30, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Yes, I did RT it… about finding a new rabbit hole. Get your account, and we’ll try out the collaboration options. You can request an invite or I think maybe I can send you an invite.

  3. Wally Wallace

    October 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Great post and great story on gaining more connections for your PLN. Can’t say I’m keeping up with you but enjoying hearing about your discoveries nonetheless!

    • Joanne Even

      October 30, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      It’s taken me years to start having random followers. I credit hashtags. They are like shining beacons.

  4. K Tucker (BoeBear)

    October 30, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Odd story – I wanted to request an invite to Learnist, but had to sign into FB to do so. I’ve never signed on from the computer that I’m currently using so FB was like “Wait a second! Who are you?? You need to identify people that you are friends with so we know you are really who you say you are!!” Now, I use my FB account for NOTHING related to my personal life, and I’ve actually never met any of the people that I’m friends with, so this was an interesting experience, to guess who the people were based on the very limited visual information that I had on them. These people are part of my PLN as far as gaming strategy; so to make my point, I used my “gaming” PLN to certify that I was myself so that I could access a new tool for my “education” PLN. This begs the question, can we have separate PLN spheres?

    Thanks for the intriguing post. I look forward to seeing what Learnist has to offer 😀

    • Joanne Even

      October 30, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      I thought I had separate PLN spheres — work, school, dog rescue, etc. But they’ve all started to run together and feel more like one big, happy, albeit extended family. Begs the question, why would you keep them separate?

  5. lsniestrath

    October 31, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Isn’t George amazing? I am seeing his name everywhere and have begun to look at some of his slides on slide share. The social media possibilities are endless, which makes this track of the Adult Learning program so much fun!

    Thanks for sharing this idea with us. I will certainly give it a chance!


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