Learning basic digital skills through use of a network is somewhat of a contradiction. Hence, I have commented on Siemens’s key principles in the context of this most fundamental learning in a networked world. In the developing world, the most basic of digital skills (keyboard, mouse, logging on etc.) have to be learned before more valuable skills (searching, publishing) can be developed.
- Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.
A non-networked person will have been exposed to only a narrow range of opinions. Hence the acquisition of digital skills is an essential precursor to accessing a diversity of opinions. It is no surprise that repressive regimes limit access to diversity of information.
- Learning is a process of connecting specialised nodes or information sources.
However, a more fundamental learning is that of understanding that such sources exist and how to find them
- Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
For the new digital entrant, most new learning will only come from non-human sources. They are more likely to access archived news feeds and static sites than human learning vectors such as blogs or tweets
- Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known.
This is critical in that what is currently known (from schooling or narrow, local experience) is likely to be out of date with future needs
- Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
The is later than the first critical need which is to find relevant connections in the first place
- Ability to see connections between fields, ideas and concepts is a core skill.
This is perhaps the most fundamental connectivist skill and will be new to those educated in a closed, didactic system. Developing own perceptions is a key new skill acquired through increased exposure to a variety of opinions and experiences.
- Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
Currency only needs to be in respect of the relevant environment. If the environment is traditional then new, up-to-date knowledge may be interesting but irrelevant (though could be transformational for those with the power to transform).
- Decision making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision
True but may be lagged in a development environment.
Connectivism is a two edged sword in a development environment. Absence of a network will deny access to the rapidly accelerating changes in the developed world. Development of a network allows leapfrogging over the limitations of locally available knowledge. The Arab Spring was an example of the disruptive capability of a step change in access to information.