Knowledge construction occurs when learners connect to their prior knowledge or socialize new ideas.
As a classroom teacher, I identified myself as a constructivist, however, since that time I have fully transitioned from face-to-face to online education as a delivery modality. As an online educator, online learner, and facilitator of the overall process, I have changed my views and find myself to be a connectivist.
Students learning online need to make connections in a similar manner as they do in the face-to-face classroom. Using social media connections, students can engage in social learning. This allows for idea sharing, content sharing, and for students to connect not only to the content but to each other and their educator. Building a community of learners who connect beyond the LMS is essential to life long learning.
In connectivist MOOCs or cMOOCs, like ETMOOC, participants connect with twitter, share their blogs, and share in the google+ community. The MOOC encourages sharing, remixing, curating, and extending the thinking of like minded people and isn’t this what learning is all about.
Years ago, people had to move across the country to gather in the hallowed hallways of institutions to connect with like minded individuals with similar interests and goals to share in the learning process. Today, you can do that from anywhere with a connection to the internet and any number of devices (smartphone, laptop, tablet…).