Re: A conceptual Issue
That's a really good question and one I had been wondering about myself.
By inkazar (ilyse na'omi kazar)
on September 20, 2011.
This is as far as I've gotten with "grokking" the distinction, but I am
new to this too so do NOT take this as gospel:
A theory in cognitive pscyhology and other disciplines (including
artificial intelligence!) that sees mental phenomena (including
knowledge) as a web of independent nodes that are connected by
uniform units into a clustered networks that interact via the conduit. For example, centers of the brain connected by neurons.
Connectionists have used models of neural networks to, in a rather cold
an unappealing way in my opinion, describe the learning process and the
ways in which one network that is "activated" by input might respond and
may, in turn, produce output that activates neighboring networks. All
very abstract, and the focus is on the network whereas the connection
between them is deprecated as being some sort of nondescript and
See wikipedia for more if you're not already put to sleep by this (I know I did not feel inspired to read further).
The theory that emphasizes the value of the connection between two
networks (a conversation that unfolds between two people, words on a
page that communicate a story to your brain, a friend's action of
sending you a link to a web page they find interesting, a painting you
look at that serves as the link between an artist's vision and your
response) as being knowledge itself. Now this does not put me to sleep,
it resonates like a clear bell for me. In the Connectivist model, knowledge emerges from the connections, not from a discreet network that might have been influenced by other networks.
On the Week 2 Course Content page
are many resources about Connectivism. One piece I found especially
useful was Steve Downe's blog post What Connectivism Is.
Sometimes, however, in this course I have seen posts where I think the
two terms are being used interchangeably, which is understandable as
they are so similar, and all this is so abstract and so new to us (most
of us, anyhow, including myself).
And, again, take the above with a truckload, not a grain, of salt,
because it represents the "quick-n-dirty" version I have quickly scraped
together for myself without any real scholarship invested! If anyone
reads this who can correct or clarify or even have a good laugh at my
above explanation, go for it!