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Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism and connectivism are all learning theories that provide a lot or some benefit to most learners at any one point in time. The point that I would like to stress most is that shared by Dr George Siemens in Overview of connectivism (Siemens, n.d) and Connectivism: Socializing Open Learning (Siemens, n.d) that is the importance of knowing our students, connecting concepts and ideas to drive meaningful learning. The logic and theory that underpins teaching pedagogy is never a one size fits all, the need to be flexible in understanding individual learning styles of students in our classrooms and sets the critical foundation in learning. Starkey (2012) shares the idea that knowledge can underpin learning theories and pedagogical practice which therefore can influence teaching and learning (p.26).
Learning is a process; an individual process that each student will create their own version of by applying their own knowledge and experiences. Duke, Harper & Johnston (2013) state that a learning theory tries to classify what is known about learning (p.6). Starkey (2012) states that “teachers commonly switch between different teaching strategies and draw on a range of learning theories, however their core values and beliefs about knowledge, how students learn and the role of the teacher will influence the goals of their teaching and their pedagogical decision making” (p.24).
Siemens (2005) shares that connectivism provides insight into learning skills and tasks needed for learners to flourish in a digital era. In an ever changing global environment with interaction via the web and social networks the needs of education is shifting, the priority for teachers is to determine students needs and foster their learning in a way that prepares them for their futures in the workplace and an informed citizen.
Duke, B., Harper, G., & Johnston, M. 2013. Connectivism as a digital age learning theory. The International HETL Review, 4-13.
Siemens, G. 2005. Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1), 3-10.
Siemens, G. n.d. Connectivism: Socializing Open Learning [Video file]. Retreived from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqL_lsogeNU
Siemens, G. n.d.Overview of connectivism [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx5VHpaW8sQ
Starkey, L. 2012. Teaching and learning in the digtial age. Oxon: Routledge.