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Madeleine Brookes

A Connectivist Approach to Personalised Learning


Students are able to personalise their own learning by following their passions and interests both in and out of the classroom and create their own learning journeys by building their own Personal Learning Networks (PLN) through the connections they make online. Students no longer need to rely on teachers as the source of knowledge or the experts in a field of knowledge; our role is shifting from instructor to facilitator.

Connectivism is a learning theory for the digital age that focuses on the significance of digital technologies, such as Web 2.0, and the exponential growth of knowledge networks. Proponents of Connectivism assert that learning occurs when learners make connections between concepts, opinions and perspectives accessed through their personal learning networks.

So what is Connectivism and how significant is the impact of digital technologies on learning? In what ways can we support our students in building their own PLNs?

Possible Outcomes

This session, we aim to:

  1. Unpack the eight principles of the Connectivism, a learning theory for the digital age;
  1. Explore examples of K-12 blogging environments as a lens through which to apply the principles of Connectivism;
  2. Discuss ways to facilitate a connected learning environment using a range of strategies and interactive online tools that are available to your students.


Downes, S. (2005, December 22). An Introduction to Connective Knowledge [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Siemens, G. (2005, August 10). Connectivism: Learning as Network-Creation [Blog post]. Retrieved from


She has been an educator for over 20 years in international schools in Asia. Prior to teaching, Madeleine was a programmer and marketer in the computer industry.


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