Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Fad or Future?

Michael Phillips
Saturday, 8 September 2012 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

In the digital age, rapid developments in information and communication technologies are having a dramatic impact on the way that information is processed, how knowledge is produced, and how learning occurs. Given the current overflow of available information, Siemens (2005) proposes a alternative theory of learning, one separate from the limitations of behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. He regards this concept as one driven by the understanding that decisions are based on rapidly changing knowledge foundations.

This presentation will begin with a theoretical review of connectivist learning theory. In doing so, it will explore some of many questions still being debated, such as:

  • In the digital age, what is meant by 'learning' and 'knowledge'?
  • Do existing learning theories still meet the needs of today’s learners?
  • Do they also anticipate the ongoing lifelong needs of the learners of the future?

Participants will be challenged to consider (in small discussion groups) some of these questions, and related issues in applying connectivist theory. An open forum opportunity will be given at the end of the meeting to allow teachers to discuss issues relevant to their current teaching situations.

Michael Phillips graduated with an honours degree in environmental sciences. He came to Japan as part of the JET Programme in July 2001, and has since taught at kindergarten, primary, junior-high, high-school, junior college, community centres, eikaiwa, and business schools. He holds a Graduate Certificate (TSL) and a Masters of Education (TESOL).

** Please note that this event will be held at Wel-Tobata, not our usual venue. You can find an access map to the venue at http://www.wel-tobata.jp/map/index.html (Japanese) or http://goo.gl/maps/nqudj (Google Maps).