Fitting the Pieces Together

How has your view on how you learn changed?

Although my perspective on how I personally learn has not changed; my depth of understanding for the myriad learning theories has increased exponentially, in addition to learning about new theories I had not previously been aware of such as Constructivism, Social Constructivism, Connectivism and the many Adult Learning Theories (Andragogy, Transformational, Experiential, Self-Directed, etc.) (Cercone, 2008; Ertmer & Newby, 1993; Ormrod, 2008; Siemens, 2005; and Smith, 1999).  At the beginning of this course my perspective was that I learned cognitively and, with the exception of Behaviorism, all other learning theories appear to fall under the umbrella of Cognitive Learning (Ormrod, 2008).

My personal learning has also been largely influenced by transformational learning and experiential learning as a direct result of psychological, emotional, physical and financial hardships occurring over a short period of time, in effect necessitating fluency in contextual/situational arenas otherwise not voluntarily chosen (i.e., coping with death due to the loss of a child, parent, pet, loss of a home, unemployment, parenting a child who has lost a sibling, recently transitioned to the public school system and who has diagnosed ADHD and SPD, requiring educational interventions, in addition to caring for an elderly disabled parent, to name but a few) (Cercone, 2008; Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007).

Ironically, many of the adult learner characteristics resonated as those I have always had in my repertoire.  Specifically, “self-direction, the need to be actively involved in the learning process, needing to understand the link between what I am learning and how it will apply to my life, needing to feel that my learning focuses on issues that concern me, needing an informal environment that is respectful, and needing time for self-reflection” (Cercone, 2008, p. 154-159).  Perhaps, these are characteristics of most learners, not just adults specifically.

What role does technology play in your learning?

My learning is made possible primarily through technology.  I utilize technology in all aspects of my life, learning and employment.  For instance, when I have a question the first thing I do is do a Google search regarding the question.  At that point I sift through the information to find the most relevant items to keep.  Through my participation with this class I have also developed skills in creating and maintaining a Blogsite, using an RSS reader to bring my information to me, and numerous other technological resources that are proving invaluable to me.  Additionally, I have developed skills in the areas of organizing my information, storing my information in collaborative locations for others to use, and am using Webspiration for a number of brainstorming projects.  There has not been one week that I have not benefited from collaborative discussions and shared links to articles, websites, or other media as a result of participation in Walden.  In fact, just last week, The Horizon Report (Levine, Johnson & Smith, 2009) gave me further information, guidance, and a multitude of relevant links in the areas of mobiles, cloud computing, geo-everywhere, personal web, semantic aware and smart objects, all designated as emerging technology within the next one to five years.  Yes, all in all, Connectivism is alive and well in my learning community.

 

References

Cercone, K. (2008). Characteristics of adult learners with implications for online learning design. AACE Journal, 16(2), 137-159. Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Reader.ViewAbstract&paper_id=24286

Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 59-71. Retrieved from http://sylvan.live.ecollege.com

Johnson, L., Levine, A., & Smith, R. (2009). The Horizon Report (2009 ed.). Retrieved from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/CSD5612.pdf

Merriam, S. B. (2008). Adult Learning for the Twenty-First Century. In Third Update on Adult Learning Theory (pp. 93-98). doi: 10.1002/ace Smith, M. K. (1999). Learning Theory. In The Encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved from http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-learn.htm

Merriam, S., Caffarella, R., & Baumgartner, L. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Ormrod, J. (2008). Human Learning (5th ed.). New Jersey, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Scales, P. (2008). Learning Theories. In Teaching in the lifelong learning sector (pp. 57-85). Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com/lib/walden/Doc?id=10229843

Siemens, G. (2005, Jan). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. Retrieved from http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm

Smith, M. K. (1999, 2008). Informal Learning. In The Encyclopaedia of informal education. Retrieved from http://www.infed.org/biblio/inf-lrn.htm

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One thought on “Fitting the Pieces Together

  1. Hi Lynn,

    I noticed that you said you were using Webspiration BETA for a number of collaborative projects. I’d love to hear more about your current projects! You may find me on our blog, Facebook or Twitter. You may also email me at connect(at)inspiration.com.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Sarah Cargill, Inspiration Software
    inspiration.com/blog
    facebook.com/InspirationSoftware
    twitter.com/InspirationSW

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