On understanding connectivism.
In the pre-internet age when government clerks needed to have thousands of pieces of information in their minds ready to be recalled at a moment’s notice, it made sense to teach and test discrete facts. Nowadays, the job of information storage can be left to the cloud. We need to teach more about information retrieval, information type and information searching. This makes a lot of sense to me, and it indicates a necessary change in how we view the curriculum.
However, I can’t see this becoming a grand theory of learning: a localised set of techniques for dealing with information, yes. It’s more akin to theories of librarianship than of learning, I think.
But there transhumanists who talk of “a singularity, a ‘biointelligence explosion'” (Eden et al., 2012, p. 2), the complete linking of the human brain with artificial intelligence. The arguments set out in Eden et al.’s book are frighteningly persuasive. In this context, I can see a more fundamental role for connectivism as a theory.
Eden, A. H., Moor, J. H., Søraker, J. H., & Steinhart, E. (2012). Singularity hypotheses: An overview. In A. H. Eden, J. H. Moor, J. H. Søraker, & E. Steinhart (Eds.), Singularity hypotheses: A scientific and philosophical assessment (pp. 1–15). Heidelberg: Springer. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-32560-1