A Theory for Knowing in the Network Society: Connectivism

A Theory for Knowing in the Network Society: Connectivism

Murat Ertan Dogan (College of Communication, Çukurova University, Adana, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/ijicthd.2014100103
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Rapid changes and developments in the information and communication technologies have led to societal transformation and emergence of new social structures. In consequence of these, information has become a vital necessity for every individual in the 21st century, and the social structures have been shaped within the framework of processes for diffusion of information. Moreover, technological and societal changes gave rise to the changes in the nature of information (formation and diffusion) and in the process of having access to the information. In this study, changes in the nature of information and knowing are being discussed on the basis of the theories explaining societal change after the industrial revolution. The study will refer to the characteristics of the learning theories and theoretically assess Connectivisim, which is suggested to be a theory for the contemporary era. This paper discusses Connectivism as an approach which explains learning within the social structures of the Network Society and the Post-Industrial Society based on the review of the theories.
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McLuhan (1964: 10) said that, the medium (technology) is the extension of the human body. Mankind has created the extensions of himself in many ways and these extensions have affected the relation among each other.

Based on the view that people create extensions of their selves by means of technology McLuhan put forward the slogan: the medium is the message, which claims that the media became the extensions of our body as each new technology are in fact messages. McLuhan suggests that, the medium itself is more important than the content carried by the medium. For example, McLuhan argues that the electric light is pure information. As long as it is not used to express a word or name, it is a medium including no messages. The content of any medium is always another medium. The content of writing is speech, just as the written word is the content of print, and print the content of the telegraph. McLuhan (1964: 10) suggests that a medium affects the society not by the content delivered through it, but by the characteristics of the medium itself.

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