Lisa’s CCK08 Wordpress Blog

September 9, 2008

Response: What is Connectivism — Three Types of Network Learning

Filed under: Responses,Week 1 — Lisa M Lane @ 10:41 am

This morning I listened to the audio for George Siemen’s What Is Connectivism? presentation (made yesterday!). Here a helpful tripartite system was set up as “Types of network learning”:

  • neural/brain networks (biological) — neuroscience as source, formation of neural connections
  • conceptual networks (internal/cognitive — I would say of the mind, associations between ideas, deep understanding, ability to learn related to conceptual network)
  • social/external networks (the focus of connectivist theory)

All are, of course, connected. I agree that we need a better understanding in general of how networks are formed, but I find myself drawn to conceptual networks rather than social networks. Siemens says that cannot guarantee (through research) that network properties exist at the conceptual level, despite the fact that our intuition says they can.

I am not clear how we can discuss revising curriculum if we only reference the social network aspects that seem central to connectivism. It worries me that we have lots of research about neural networks, and now lots of research about social learning networks, there isn’t enough about internal/cognitive networks. I am having trouble shaking my “belief” that knowledge building (or growing) is primarily an internal process.


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