Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age

Whilst researching my assignment 2 essay for EDC3100 I came across this post Critical Review of Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age by Kevin Stranack which I thought might be of interest to my other VET students Mark & Christina

Toward the end of the post I found this “For many students and instructors, the focus of a course is the content and learning that content (and securing it as an artifact within one’s own memory, which Freire (1970) called the “banking” approach to education) is seen as the core reason for taking or teaching the course. Instructors are experts in their content areas and are very attached to what they know and the value of their knowledge. Accepting the fact that the content being taught will soon be out dated and that the development of a strong network for future learning (which will be necessary to remain up-to-date) is difficult to accept.  Past practice was that knowledge lasted a lifetime, but the rapid pace of change has disrupted this faster than many people, both instructors and students, can adapt to.

I don’t know about you but it resonates very much with me. As a trainer I am attached to what I know and value what I know. I don’t accept that the content being taught will soon be out dated because in my case, electrical theory will not change. But the way it is taught has changed and will continue to change as teachers and trainers learn how to better adapt ICT’s into their lessons and the needs of industry change. I suppose as a trainer in the connectivism world we will be facilitators of networks of people who will pass on information and knowledge to the network either from their own learning or via another network that they are connected to. I think there will be a lot of pushback from the establishment on this one.



3 thoughts on “Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age

  1. Hi Brad,
    I could not agree more about the fact that we are fastly becoming out of date. Many of the skills I learnt as a young carpenter are no longer relevant to the one’s who sit in front of me today. With the ever changing construction industry comes the need for a different skillset from its workforce. Therefore the trainers need to remain in a constant state of development with what ever is new to the industry. Which creates a double challenge in that teaching is also in a perpetual state of change with all sorts of new developments. We are going to be busy people, but a hammer will always be a hammer.


    1. Good point Mark. Many of the skills I learn whilst doing my apprenticeship are no longer required because something else is now available that can do the thing much quicker and easier.

  2. Hi Brad, I also agree with you and Mark. I am finding that even though I have 25 years industry experience in Hospitality, the students coming through think they know it all because they have watched shows like Masterchef or My Kitchen rules and can even watch how to do coffee art on youtube. I have been a barista for over 15 years but I had never learnt the latte art, now if you cant do that you are seen as not a great barista!
    One thing I find that they dont have the skills for is the ability to problem solve and use the old technology. I have an old cash register at work that I teach the students on, you know one of those old push button things, one of my students this week said, “Im not going to use that 80’s thing”! Well at the end of the day they may end up working with one of those 80’s things!

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