Connectivism. vs. Constructivism

Connectivism vs. constructivism- what do you think? These are both learning theories that describe how students learn. I was recently helping create a wiki about the pros for connectivism but when I read another group’s wiki against connectivism, I have to say I agreed with many of their points. (Want to read the wiki against connectivism? Click HERE.) There were several reasons why I agreed with this wiki. Their reply that connectivism was really a reworded form of constructivism made sense to me. The wiki stated “No, we believe Connectivism is not a learning theory. It is the Constructivism theory reworked to fit the digital age.”  The main basis of connectivism is the digital age and all the technology that goes with it, but I agree that it’s really a form of constructivism and not necessarily its own brand new, distinct learning theory. The 8 main principles of connectivism the group discussed on the wiki and their counter explanations to the principles explains how connectivism is really constructivism with an emphasis on the digital age we live in now and how that affects student learning. The principle of connectivism that stuck out to me the most was principle #2. It stated “Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.”. Their reasoning why this was really constructivism was interesting. It stated “In Constructivism, students are encouraged to explore and use all technology available to them to have a variety of experiences. These experiences are tied to previous experiences, making connections to those previous experiences. These experiences include social media. Students are encouraged to talk about what they have learned in order to share with others. This exchange between students helps students to clarify, rework, and make the knowledge theirs. Constructivist thinking also states that learning is a social activity, which is a method of connecting specialized nodes or informational sources. Constructivism states that learning can occur among family, peers, and/or experts. It is not limited to a teacher-student relationship.”.  I agree with this because I have always thought students learn best when they are making connections to knowledge they already know and new information. And those connections can be from social media or technology but obviously aren’t and shouldn’t always be from those places. So once again, that relates it back to constructivism. I encourage you to click on the link above to read this wiki and see all of the 8 principles and the counter arguments yourself!

1 thought on “Connectivism. vs. Constructivism

  1. Elaine Snyder

    I agree that Connectivism is Constructivism reworked. Many of the point of Connectivism seem to have their base in Connectivism. My main disagreement with Connectivism is that it claims learning takes place outside of the mind. I really cannot understand that reasoning. I have tried and tried. My toe cannot learn. My mind can learn to tell my toe what to do, but my toe cannot learn separate from my mind. I agree that connections need to be made for a person to learn, but I believe that is the way a person constructs their knowledge. The connections are made, but knowledge is constructed. As you stated connections are made through the socialization process of the learning making the knowledge theirs. The learner talks to others, discusses the knowledge and makes it fit into their existing knowledge.


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