I can not imagine how I functioned without the internet and its vast array of resources. I was a frequent visitor at the local library where I would spend countless hours pouring over reference material. It is hard to imagine that it was less than ten few years ago that the library was my main resource for information.
I thought I was ‘techy’ when I did my undergraduate studies as I was able to resource the university library via the internet and participated in ‘basic’ online courses. Was I wrong! My knowledge was limited compared to what I have learned in the past seven weeks.
I always thought I learned best as a Kinesthetic learner (Wikipedia, 2010), but realize that learning involves more than one style or strategy.
Behavioristic theory (Wikipedia, 2010) is what I truly believed described my learning process, but now I realize that I learn better via Connectivism theory (Wikipedia, 2010). I am still a social learner and now find I am more capable of learning via self-direction.
Siemens (2004) stated, “Our ability to learn what we need for tomorrow is more important than what we know today”. As instructional designers, we almost need to be one step ahead of what we are designing so we never fall behind.
Atherton (2010) defines Knowles’s assumptions which seem to mirror my learning process. They are:
The need to know — adult learners need to know why they need to learn something before undertaking to learn it.
Learner self-concept —adults need to be responsible for their own decisions and to be treated as capable of self-direction
Role of learners’ experience —adult learners have a variety of experiences of life which represent the richest resource for learning. These experiences are however imbued with bias and presupposition.
Readiness to learn —adults are ready to learn those things they need to know in order to cope effectively with life situations.
Orientation to learning —adults are motivated to learn to the extent that they perceive that it will help them perform tasks they confront in their life situations.
The last few weeks have seen me design my own blog https://tracyg4walden.wordpress.com/ which is something I never imagined was possible assuming it was too ‘innovative’ for me. I now utilize technology on a daily basis which has not only enhanced my learning process, but significantly reduced the amount of wasted energy searching through the cavern known as the World Wide Web. Google reader allows me to compile and tag relevant websites and resources that aid my learning and thus saves time daily.
Brown (2002) summarized innovative technology well (even back in 2002) by stating, “The typewriter prized one particular kind of intelligence, but with the Web, we suddenly have a medium that honors multiple forms of intelligence-abstract, textual, visual, musical, social, and kinesthetic. As educators, we now have a chance to construct a medium that enables all young people to become engaged in their ideal way of learning. The Web affords the match we need between a medium and how a particular person learns”.
With innovative technology developing by leaps and bounds, technology is no longer just used to support an individual but rather support relationships between individuals (Brown, 2002). I know technology and I will be life long partners.
Atherton, J. S. (2010). Learning and teaching; Knowles’ andragogy; an angle on adult learning. Retrieved from:http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/knowlesa.htm
Brown, J. S., (2002). Growing Up Digital: How the Web Changes Work, Education, and the Ways People Learn. United States Distance Learning Association. Retrieved from http://www.usdla.org/html/journal/FEB02_Issue/article01.html December 19, 2010.
Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved from: http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm
Wikipedia (2010). Connectivism (learning theory). Retrieved from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connectivism_(learning_theory) December 19, 2010.