Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Fitting the Pieces Together

Now that you have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, how has your view on how you learn changed?

My view on how I learn has not changed significantly. Cognitivism and constructivism best describe how I learn at this point in my life. What has changed is my understanding of the many learning theories and how they were developed in response to deficiencies in existing learning theories.  I now have a better understanding of learning styles, learning strategies, and learning theories and how each helps to explain how I learn.

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?

My week one posting included a reference to connectivism that I "discovered" accidentally during my research and I am glad we had an opportunity to examine it.  Connectivism resonates with me because I have witnessed firsthand the significant changes in the volume and nature of information available to us as a result of technology and the Internet.   The mind-mapping application clearly demonstrated my reliance on technology for my personal learning network and the many of the resources I use while I learn.   I recognize that when I label myself as a "visual learner", I am using visualizations to construct and connect new material.  As an adult learner, I have greater motivation and am self-directed and independent and this allows me to be a more successful online student.

What role does technology play in your learning (i.e., as a way to search for information, to record information, to create, etc.)?

Looking back, my early learning years now seem very one-dimensional with respect to learning materials (books, pencil, paper), learning environment (classroom) and the time when my learning occurred (Monday to Friday between 9 and 3).  Today, information is available and communicated in multiple formats (appealing to a variety of learning styles) and is accessible at home, at work, at school, on the bus or train --  24 hours a day and seven days a week.

"Google" was added to both the Oxford English Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2006.   Google is derived from the word googol which means 10100 (an incredibly large number).   We continue to be exposed to an incredibly large amount of new information, innovations, and applications as a result of technology.     Using technology to search for information saves me significant time as I do not have to personally visit libraries in order to conduct my research.  Technology has enabled me to learn and share with my classmates who are thousands of miles away.  Video brings words to life as I watch and listen rather than just read words on a page (but I still have the option of reading words on a page).  The work I produce is more visually appealing (by using colours and images) and I can easily share it with others.  We seem to be using technology more than ever to help us learn and it provides convenience, variety and currency to my learning.

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