Cognitivist propose that learning is based on a network of systems and these systems are rapidly changing. Therefore the knowledge you acquire today might not be relevant tomorrow. These learning networks include people, social structures, systems and technology. The diagram below depicts a Mind Map which highlights my personal networks.
My first learning experiences where shaped by my family network and cultural institutions. As I interact and participate within these networks I am able to acquire knowledge through my personal experiences. As I continue to share and establish relationships with others, I am able to identify members with known expertise in their fields. These experts are then categorized into my primary contacts or resources when seeking information that will aid in my decision making process. The cognitivist view networks as systems of information that will allow us to make necessary decisions.
The advancements in technology has broaden my network of informational resources. These advancements have put informational tools right at my fingertips. Thanks to Google Search and Wikipedia, the knowledge or information I seek can be instantaneous. Because information gathered from such sources as blogs, wikis, websites, and social networks, can be highly subjective or opinionated, I still continue to utilize my primary network of family, friends and co-workers, to verify or validate the information gathered from these informational tools.
According to Seimens, learning and knowledge rest in the diversity of opinions which aid in our decision making process. Accuracy and up-to-date knowledge is the intent of all connectivist learning activities. The learner must have the ability to see the connections between fields, ideas and concepts. Is connectivism the new learning theory of the 21st century or does it simply explain the abundance of resources we have access to in order to obtain information? I like to think that connectivism is the way we collect, gather, and share information for the benefit of others. It’s the application of the information that facilitates learning.
Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism