Guder, C. G. (2010). Patrons and Pedagogy: A Look at the Theory of Connectivism. Public Services Quarterly, 6(1), 36-42.
In this article the author discusses the theory of connectivism as related to education theory already used in libraries. First the author describes the basic principles of connectivism, including “currency, relevancy [sic], critical thinking, and networked information.” In connectivism, the user controls the learning network. The author argues that libraries have already been providing a user controlled experience through collections and computer access. Libraries can build on this tradition by embracing and adding new technologies. In addition, librarians can play a role by teaching students about new technologies. Librarians can also teach students how and where to access information in new networks. In his conclusion, the author states that “Technology can be viewed as a tool for learning or it can be viewed as the place where learning takes place. Libraries do not have to come down on either side…“. This quote sums up what we can do and promote in the library.
The article is from 2010, and therefore is a little dated. However, I feel like just as we hope the skills students learn today transfer to the technologies of tomorrow, this theory can encompass all that has happened in the past 8 years. For instance, social media is no longer new, but librarians are still working to ensure students know the best ways to use it. I also liked the author’s discussion of helping students know where to look for information. This is a traditional library skill, but with more options for learning and more to learn, knowing how to find relevant information becomes a key skill for success. I agree with the author; connectivism is a theory that has a lot to offer for libraries.