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In today’s blog post I will be discussing learning theories, personal learning networks, and copyright concerns. Beginning with Siemens’ (2005) article “Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age”, I was fascinated with how they suggested shifting traditional learning theories to take into account the new ways we learn using technology. Siemens (2005) highlighted that in a digital age, personalized learning is more challenging through individual experience than by learning from others’ experiences. This is due to what Tianna highlighted in her wow and wonder, the half-life of knowledge. Tianna explained that the half-life of knowledge refers to a particular time span from where the knowledge that was first learned is starting to become obsolete. With technology, our knowledge has doubled over the last decade and doubles every 18 months (Siemens, 2005). In relation to the shift towards a connected online world, Miah mentioned that learning is something that can occur without any effort on the part of the individual. Therefore, as traditional learning theories become outdated, we should shift towards new understandings of how individuals learn.  

Since learning is now emphasized and stored through technology, the new ways we learn are through connecting with others. Siemens (2005) highlighted how connectivism is the key learning theory in the digital age. The underlying principle of connectivism surrounds the importance of a network of people and their sharing of knowledge, sources, and opinions. Congruently, the author of “Networked Privacy” emphasized that in a digital world, we must not center or focus on the individual, but rather develop models that center networks of people as the unit of analysis. Moreover, an example of connectivism in action are personalized learning networks. Personalized learning networks are self-directed learning spaces that are facilitated through regular interaction with a network of people, digital devices, sources, and services. (Gutierrez, “n.d”).

After I read Siemens’ (2005) article, I wondered about my own personal learning network and how I connect with others to gain knowledge and I immediately thought of Tik Tok. The social media app has taught me many things, including how the internet is not an equal space for everyone, which is a learning objective for this course. For example, I have learned about the importance of closed captions on Tik Tok for those in the deaf community, and how it can make them feel excluded if captions are not enabled. After doing some research, I have found an article that affirms my experience of networked learning on TikTok. Gasson (2020) mentions how TikTok is an important educational tool, as its’ condensed content captivates a wide range of users’ attention efficiently. 

Although there are benefits of learning through personal learning networks such as TikTok, there are some copyright concerns that educators should be aware of. After spending so much time on creating a video, if it gets flagged for infringing on someone else’s copyrights, the video can be deleted and educators could be faced with legal action. According to Gardoce (2021), a way users can avoid copyright infringement is by making sure the music in the video comes from the TikTok app. This is because of the license agreements TikTok has with various artists (Gardoce, 2021). Users should also be mindful of the images in the video as they may be protected by copyright too (Gardoce, 2021). In order to mitigate the negative outcomes associated with TikTok in learning, educators should simply use original content.

Lastly, a question I have for you to reflect on this blog post is: Can you think of a learning experience that came as a result of an online connection?


Boyd, D. (2012, December 22). Networked Privacy. Surveillance & Society.

Gasson, C. (2020, October 15th). What Can L&D Learn From TikTok? Thrive.

Gutierrez, K. (n.d). What Are Personal Learning Networks? Shift.

Gardoce, R. (2021, August 12). The Legal side of TikTok Music, Copyright and ownership. Sprintlaw.

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 2(1).