A learner is like a puzzle piece. Just like a puzzle piece needs the other pieces to form a complete picture, so learners need other learners (people) to connect to in order to make meaning out of their lives and contribute to something bigger than themselves. In his article, “Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age,” George Siemens states, “meaning-making and forming connections between specialized communities are important activities.” As a piece to this puzzle, learners need to know how to form connections so they can make meaning and extend their pieces for others to connect into. When we don’t become connected, we miss out on the plethora of knowledge and wisdom we can gain from others.
Siemens addresses the importance of connection in his video “The Network is the Learning” with the comment that “adding a node to a network increases the entire network exponentially.” Each person can contribute to these networks of knowledge with their own personal expertise and experience and thus move universal knowledge forward for the benefit of all. Therefore, we need each other to create the bigger picture, one that can only be truly seen when all the puzzle pieces are connected into the right pieces.