Siemens and Downes initially received increasing attention in the blogosphere in 2005 when they discussed their ideas concerning distributed knowledge. An extended discourse has ensued in and around the status of ‘connectivism’ as a learning theory for the digital age. This has led to a number of questions in relation to existing learning theories. Do they still meet the needs of today’s learners, and anticipate the needs of learners of the future? Would a new theory that encompasses new developments in digital technology be more appropriate, and would it be suitable for other aspects of learning, including in the traditional class room, in distance education and e-learning? This paper will highlight current theories of learning and critically analyse connectivism within the context of its predecessors, to establish if it has anything new to offer as a learning theory or as an approach to teaching for the 21st Century.