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2008 Keynote

Connectivism: A vision for education

Presenter George Siemens, Associate Director of Research and Development, University of Manitoba

Abstract Information creation, dissemination, and sharing increasingly occur in distributed networks. For decades, educators have sought ways to increase learners' control over their own learning. Social media, such as blogs, virtual worlds, wikis, bookmarking, and networking, create a shift from a centralized to a distributed learning model. However, learner autonomy is not without consequence. What is the role of the instructor in a distributed learning model? How are authority and trust created?

Hierarchies of content, dialogue, and authority are being transformed into learning networks. As these foundational elements of education change, the very model of education itself needs to be reconsidered. What does it mean to learn and to be educated in a digital, global world? How should institutions, educators, and administrators react?

George Siemens will explore the effects of changed learner relationships with each other, with content, with educational institutions, and with a global society. He will present a vision of education that blends the rapidly changing needs of today's learners with the established challenge of education as a transformative agent in society.

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