Learn2tec's Blog


Reflection: Learning Theories and Instruction
March 1, 2010, 4:41 am
Filed under: Learning Theories and Instruction

What did you find surprising or striking as you furthered your knowledge about how people learn?
It is striking to consider the amount of research that speaks of the importance of a learner’s life experience that is brought to the learning environment with them and then recognize the contrast in how the traditional classroom generalizes education. Comparing the fundamentals of behavioralism, cognitivism, constructivism, social learning, connectivism and adult learning throughout this course has helped me conceptualize the complexity of the learning process and how different it can be from one individual to the next.
How has this course deepened your understanding of your personal learning process?
As for my personal learning process, I now have a better understanding of how I learn and some things I can do to help myself. I have found that I exhibit many of the qualities of an adult learner, such as a preference for self-directed learning which I can apply immediately to a real situation in my life. I have found that it benefits me to spend some time completing behavioral and cognitive tasks in preparation for real learning, in which constructivist ideals take precedence while I bridge what I already know with new knowledge, which is greatly affected by input from my social learning network. I have also been made aware of some negative things which I need to address in my personal approach to learning and the work environment. The text reading mentions self-handicapping, which I sometimes allow myself to do by taking on too much, limiting my success in anything that I attempt, and by procrastinating.
What have you learned regarding the connection between learning theories, learning styles, educational technology, and motivation?
I believe that the most important connection we can make as individual learners is how our own learning preferences relate to the formats and styles of instruction and use that information to put ourselves in the best position to learn material that we have a need to know. As an instructor, our largest task may be to provide students the opportunity to make this connection, so that our endeavors may be successful and our students’ lives may be enriched by the content that they gain.
How will your learning in this course help you as you further your career in the field of instructional design?
I look forward to allowing students to incorporate technology into their lessons, so that they feel that the subject matter is more relevant to their current lives and so they become confident that they are able to succeed in any environment if they use all of the resources available to them. If this is accomplished, motivation should not be hindered.



Fitting the Pieces Together
February 27, 2010, 9:41 pm
Filed under: Learning Theories and Instruction

Now that you have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, how has your view on how you learn changed?
At the end of week one I had gained the understanding that learning flows along a continuum of complexity, from behavioral, to cognitive, to constructive learning. I still feel that this holds true, but also that the situations or circumstances of learning have a tremendous effect upon the effectiveness of instruction, and upon the speed at which a learner makes the transition to more complex learning.
As for my own learning, I spend a lot of time in the behavioral and cognitive stages when I begin learning a new subject, gathering facts and relating involved concepts. Once I have become comfortable with underlying principles, the constructive learning process moves rather rapidly, especially if I am able to socialize with more knowledgeable individuals while applying the information directly to a specific task.
What have you learned about the various learning theories and learning styles over the past weeks that can further explain your own personal learning preferences?

The adult learning section certainly shed some light on my own preferences. As highlighted by Conlan, Grabowski and Smith, I prefer to direct my own learning and I am interested in learning which allows me to immediately apply information to a problem in my personal and/or professional life, with the intent of changing social roles. I do approach learning from a social perspective as well, searching for insight from more experienced individuals as I begin to apply what I have learned. Connectivism is also an underlying principle of everything that I do; I am constantly bridging new information to what I already know, often to get the most ‘bang for my buck’ by applying fresh concepts to anything which they may relate.

What role does technology play in your learning (i.e., as a way to search for information, to record information, to create, etc.)?
The internet has become my primary source of information. I research via search engines, visit radio, tv and industry publication websites for news and browse blogs, discussion boards and business or personal websites and use email to gain information from professionals in the field and from discussions prompted by other individuals in situations similar to my own.
I am fortunate enough to be working in a field that relates directly to many of my personal interests, so while preparing lessons and creating instructional materials and activities I am gathering and recording information that I intend to apply at home as well. I primarily use Microsoft Word, Power Point and Excel for organizing and creating, but will occasionally use online record systems and downloads directed toward specific formats for presentations.

Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Adult_Learning



Connectivism
February 27, 2010, 9:38 pm
Filed under: Learning Theories and Instruction

How has your network changed the way you learn?
It has allowed me to take control of my own learning. Compared to the limited access, world-is-so-big philosophy I had earlier in life, I feel more connected than ever to the wealth of information available, and I feel that I have the ability to locate more resources than in the past.

Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?
The internet is by far the tool that I use most for learning purposes. Productivity packages, such as Microsoft Office, also have been beneficial in providing a friendly avenue for collecting, storing and organizing information. As far as facilitating instruction, any digital devices which help in visualizing concepts have done a great deal in helping me learn and are effective means for delivering content to students.

How do you gain new knowledge when you have questions?
First, I gather any related information that I already have, then I generally turn to an internet search engine to begin gathering facts, pictures and related concepts. I also reference industry and professional publications, magazines and newsletters to get a feel for concerns or issues surrounding the subject. Once I am satisfied that I understand the basic concepts involved, I will then get in touch with more knowledgeable persons via email, phone or face to face interaction. I also like to browse websites, blogs and discussion rooms to observe relevant conversations or question and answer sessions. If more information is needed, I get in touch with someone who can direct me to more sources, such as past professors, library professionals, professionals in the industry, etc.

In what ways does your personal learning network support or refute the central tenets of connectivisim?
In the connectivist view, learning is constantly happening, with new information coming in all the time, and that information is supplied by the learner’s network of contact with the rest of the world. I would have to say that my personal learning network fully supports constructivist ideals. In each of the facets of my network, there is at least one source of continuous information supply, whether it be publications, radio, personal correspondence, etc..



Connectivism
February 9, 2010, 2:35 am
Filed under: Learning Theories and Instruction



Week 2. Blog 2
February 9, 2010, 2:00 am
Filed under: Learning Theories and Instruction

The Brain Connection contains current scientific information related to how the working of the brain affects or is affected by the things we do every day. I have found their Education Connection tab useful in providing articles that help in making decisions in curriculum planning and content delivery.
http://brainconnection.positscience.com/

The Journal of Educational Psychology provides great insight for instructional design applications, promoting the most current views and addressing recent issues that can guide the process of building instruction. If you follow this link: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/edu/index.aspx
it gives you the option of subscribing to the journal’s RSS feed.

ne additional article of interest is Kirschner, Sweller and Clark’s “Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching” located at http://www.usc.edu/dept/education/cogtech/publications/kirschner_Sweller_Clark.pdf
I cannot say that I entirely agree with all of the article, but, as with any position, it is best to know both sides of an issue if you are going to make informed decisions.



Worth a Listen
January 18, 2010, 4:16 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

If you have not yet done so, I would encourage you to check out Dr. Scott McLeod’s blog: http://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org/ . One blog of interest was “What I Said to the NEA”, a recording of his presentation to the NEA on the future of education in America.



Some Helpful Blogs
January 11, 2010, 5:14 am
Filed under: Learning Theories and Instruction

e-LearningGuru.com

The Performance X Design article that I have linked this to discusses some of the shortcomings in current graduate instructional design and technology programs when it comes to preparing graduates to inject a healthy amount of creativity into their work. If you explore more of Performance X Design, you will find several articles which provide useful insight on current theories and application models within the instructional design field.

eLearningLearning includes links such as the Top 50 Moblie Learning Resources, which has everything from Marc Prensky’s blog to articles on using mobile phones to teach literacy in Africa.