Monthly Archives: July 2015
Connectivism: How my connections facilitate my learning.
As an adult learner, I find most of my learning comes from my desires of self-improvement. Having access to the internet through multiple devices has made my pursuit of knowledge more accommodating, but I can’t learn everything on the internet. So, I would say that most of my continuing education comes in two primary forms, Guided (face-to-face) learning or Internet-based learning.
I am a visual/auditory learner, and so I would much rather watch a video about content that I am interested in learning. My first source for seeking information is Google. If I am looking for topics of personal interest, I expand my search to YouTube and Pinterest because I can find videos or pictures that help me better understand the content. These sources are available 24/7, and I can access them from anywhere. I am glad that technology has allowed for instant information versus the days of the library and card catalogs. I can find almost anything on any topic of interest at any time.
What surprises me is that amount of information I get through Facebook. My friends post a lot of interesting articles on politics, history, relationships, and religion. Now of course you can’t believe everything that is posted on the internet but the comments from their expansive network of friends brings about healthy debate and sometimes sparks my quest for more information on the topic at hand.
My career requires that I continue my learning through professional development. Most of this continued education comes in the more traditional classroom setting or through Professional Leaning Communities. These settings afford me the opportunity to leverage the expertise of professionals in my field of work. This is a very rich learning experience, but it come at the cost of time, travel, and in some cases, money. Another disadvantage of structured learning sessions is just that, they are structured and often do not offer the flexibility of time.
Both Internet-based and guided learning are support through the use of written text. Reading is fundamental in most learning experiences. I am currently completing a Masters program online, and there is an extensive amount of reading and writing involved. There are some opportunities to learn from my peers and their experiences through discussion post but it not quite the same interaction and candid communication you would get in a classroom setting.
We all learn in different ways and get our information from various sources. Siemens (2005) said, “The capacity to form connections between sources of information, and thereby create useful information patterns, is required to learn in our knowledge economy.”
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism:A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved August 3, 2015, from http://www.itdl.org/journal/jan_05/article01.htm
There are a lot of studies involving how the brain processes information. This past week I have studied about the many theories of learning. I research theories such as behavioralism, cognitivism, and constructivism. While it is good to understand these theories and how people learn, as Instructional Designers and teacher, it is our job to then take this understanding and design effective, application-based lessons. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory discusses different learning theories, left vs right brain, and multiple intelligences on their Classroom Compass post. What I found helpful in their post was that they align applicable strategies to research theories.
As I continued researching good e-learning design, I found the following website that points out six key components of good e-learning courses.
Having now studied some of the theories of learning, I see why these particular steps are effective. The first point says to grab the learner’s attention by making the learning relevant. This ties directly to the notion that emotional interest in a topic will enhance learning. It also mentions breaking content into chunks which addresses the aspects of attention span and how it will affect learning.
I am glad that I have stretched my knowledge by studying learning theories, but at the end of the day, I need to be able to put these theories to use and I feel that the above-mentioned sources are a great starting point.
Please leave your thoughts below. I would love to hear from you!
This is my very first post and for that matter my very first blog! I am currently pursuing a master degree in Instructional Design and Technology. I will be using this blog as my place to research and investigate the field of Instructional Design, E-learning, and practical classroom strategies. My goal is to learn from other bloggers out there who are masters of their craft. So far I have found more than a few blogs and sites that I have found helpful. For now I will focus on three.
Ptotem Talk – I like this blog because it has valuable suggestions for establishing successful E-Learning courses. As a newbie in the field of Instructional Design, I found the posts on this blog very useful and especially like the links to FREE resources. Free is always good!!!
Cathy Moore – This blog focuses more on designing training. There are posts on focusing the of the training, saving time in the designing phase, and how o write challenging scenario questions.
McREL – I love this site!!! It addresses just about every topic a classroom teacher could think of from using technology in the class to should we assign homework. It also includes posts from parent and administrative perspectives.