Archive | March 2012

Week 5: Connectivism – Mapping Your Learning Connections

When referring to connectivism we are referring to a learning theory for the digital age (Siemens, 2004, http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm. According to Siemens (2004) along with behaviorism and cognitivism, these three learning theories, arise throughout a time when learning was not developed in the course of technology,  have been most often used in the creation of instruction environments. However, over the last two decades, technology has changed our lifestyle, how we correspond, as well as our learning style (Siemens, 2004). As we can see learning has change over the previous decades. Connectivism is acknowledged as a learning theory that incorporates social networks, technology, knowledge, as well as communication. As noted by Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman (2008) “the act of learning does not happen in a vacuum, it occurs at the connection of prior knowledge, experience, acuity, actuality, understanding, and flexibility” http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism. I see connectivism as a vital learning theory for today’s learner. Learning transpires in diverse ways in our society today. Learning comes in forms of courses, email, communities, conversations, web search, reading blogs, etc. Yet, we find that courses are the main means for learning. As indicated by Siemens (2005) “by using these networks – of people, of technology, of social structures, of systems, of power grids, etc. – learning communities can share their ideas with others, thereby “cross-pollinating” the learning environment” (as cited by Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman, 2008, http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism). In order for learning to be effectively in today’s society, diverse approaches and personal skills are required.

Being a student in an online university, I have utilized different digital tools. The main software program that I use is Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office products as was Word (2007 & 2010) and PowerPoint. I use Internet Explorer as a means of surfing the Web as well as the browser I use to log onto Walden University. Google is the search engine that I utilized as a means of performing research. In completing my assignments for the course I utilize Microsoft word and PowerPoint. From time to time throughout my education I have utilize DVD’s as a means of fostering my learning. All of these digital tools have played an enormous part in enhancing my education by means of researching information, solving problems as well as completing a variety of tasks and projects that I have. I have found the search engine (Google) to be very beneficial in permitting me to obtain knowledge when I have questions. Another means of gaining knowledge when I have question is the Q&A forum. The Q &A forum allows us to ask and answer questions among colleagues and the instructor.

As acknowledge by George Siemens (2001) connectivism is tied tightly to today’s learning environment (Laureate Education). Through my years of working in education and attending online, I have had a very strong personal learning network.  According to Siemens (2004) “A network can simply be defined as connections between entities” http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm. Today’s new technology has allowed me to stay connected with people all over the world as well as people who have been of value for educational resources. According to Siemens (2009) we are observing a major flare-up in how we begin to connect with other people nevertheless also how we link with data sources (Laureate Education, Inc.). Thanks to the digital age of technology my personal learning networks have been very active in providing the kind of learning experience for me to conclude my education in the consolation of my home. Therefore I would say that my personal learning network would support all of the tenets of connectivism. According to Sieman (2004) “Learning is a process that occurs within nebulous environments of shifting core elements – not entirely under the control of the individual” (http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm).

References

Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism

Laureate Educations, Inc. (2009). Connectivism. Dr. George Siemens.

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved March 27, 2012 from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm.

Week 2 Blog Assignment: Evaluating and Identifying Online Resources

This week’s assignment requires us to conduct research of online scholarly resources related to topics of The Brain and Learning, Information Processing Theory, and Problem-Solving Methods.

A journal article by Bilal Duman (2010) entitled, The effects of brain-based learning on the academic achievement of student with different learning styles, reports a finding of the effects of brain-based learning.

After searching for the connection between all three of these topics, I found an article in Walden Library databases at http://library.waldenu.edu.I performed a search on the topic of “brain and learning.” My search generated a journal entry from Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice by Bilal Duman. The journal entry relates to a study done by students from the department of Social Sciences Teacher Education in the Faculty of Education atMuglaUniversity investigating the effects of Brain-based learning (BBL) on the academic achievement of students with different learning styles. The journal entry acknowledges how learning styles affect students’ learning processes. It goes to state that the best way of imagining individual differences is through understanding learning styles. The article deals with knowledge of how the brain works and learns as well as how the brain functions highlighted in this week’s topics.

Long Term Memory: A Users Guide
http://theelearningcoach.com/learning/long-term-memory-and-learning/

Utilizing Google’s search engine I discovered a website dedicated to Long Term Memory (LTM) which has an effect on information processing and problem-solving. This article is identified as a user’s guide to update us with the characteristics and dynamics of long-term memory. Dr. Connie Malamed (2012) discusses the basics of long-term memory which is important in understanding cognitive psychology.  Cognitive psychology reflects on LMT as two types of memory which involve Explicit and Implicit memory. Other sections Dr. Malamed discusses in this article includes capacity, encoding, retrieval, and strategies use to improve encoding and retrieval. This article goes on to indicate that there are diverse strategies that instructional designers and learners can use to enhance encoding. I feel that having the education on how the brain operates is imperative to keep in mind as we endeavor to be successful as an instructional designer.

A journal article by Judy Strauss, Hope Corrigan, and Charles F. Hofacker (2011) entitled, Optimizing student learning: Examining the use of presentation slides, reports on finding concerning how students’ learning are affected by technology.

Another article I found in Walden Library databases at http://library.waldenu.edu from my point of view provides an instructional designer understanding of the information processing theory that was highlighted in this week assignment. This article explains how students’ learning has been optimized by use of presentation software such as Microsoft’s PowerPoint, Apple’s Keynote, or OpenOffice’s Impress. It also highlights three theories that they consider to be critical in improving marketing students’ education known as Multimedia information processing, learning styles, and constructivist learning. This article discusses step by step how students’ learning is affected by each of these theories.

References

Duman, B. (2010). The Effects of Brain-Based Learning on the Academic Achievement of Students with Different Learning Styles. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 10(4), 2077-2103.

Malamed, C. (2011) Re: Long Term Memory: A Users Guide[Blog message]. Retrieved from http://theelearningcoach.com/learning/long-term-memory-and-learning/

Strauss, J., Corrigan, H., & Hofacker, C. F. (2011). Optimizing Student Learning: Examining the Use of Presentation Slides. Marketing Education Review, 21(2), 151-162. doi:10.2753/MER1052-8008210205