Learning has changed

Some interesting stuff in this post by George Siemens
Connectivism Blog:

The underlying assumption of corporate training and higher education centers on the notion that the world hasn’t really changed.

But it has. Employees can’t stay current by taking a course periodically. Content distribution models (books and courses) can’t keep pace with information and knowledge growth. Problems are becoming so complex that they cannot be contained in the mind of one individual – problems are held in a distributed manner across networks, with each node holding a part of the entire puzzle.

How do we separate the learner from the knowledge? By focusing not on the content they need to know (content changes constantly and requires continual updating), but on the connections to nodes which continually filter and update content. Instead of buying a book on elearning, subscribe to Stephen’s site, Maish’s or Jay’s blog (or elearnspace :)). Read a few wikipedia articles (and contribute), join discussion forums, a list serv, follow tags on technorati or del.icio.us, attend a virtual conference, take a few workshops…you get the idea. When we stop seeing knowledge as an entity that is possessed within a person and start to cast it as a function of elements distributed across a system, we notice a dramatic impact on the education process: the educator becomes a supporter (not the center), the content is not as critical as the connections, learners find value in their aggregated perspectives, learners become content creators, and learning is continuous, exploratory and sustained (not controlled or filtered by only one agent).

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