A learner is like a stockbroker. In what aspects does a learner resemble a stockbroker?
First, I would like to explain by raising a question. What is the most important thing for a stockbroker? The answer is Timing! When it comes to buying and selling stocks, nothing is more important than timing. Even a delay of a second will make an entirely different story. The same is true for learners in today’s world. As Siemens mentions in the article Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age, "the half-life of knowledge is shrinking rapidly". Information development has more than doubled in recent years. Knowledge is growing exponentially and what is new today becomes obsolete much more rapidly than a decade ago. Thus, in order to keep abreast with the society, a good learner should stay alert to new knowledge as a stockbroker to the changing stock market. Timing is important for learners of information age.
Second, like a stockbroker, a learner today is never an isolated individual. An excellent stockbroker always keeps connected to the market and to other stockbrokers in order to stay well-informed. Likewise, learning is no longer an individual and internal activity. As Siemens talked in the video The Network is the Learning, “what we know today is not as important as our ability to continue to stay current.” If we are not continuing learning, we will become obsolete in a particular field, or within a particular knowledge space. And "nothing is more effective or adaptive than a network" (What is Connectivism, Siemens) as knowledge is networked and distributed today.
As learning experience is increasingly aided by technology, learners today need to respond to these changes. Stay connected and remember that timing is very important!