Integrating Technology into Instruction
Fitting the pieces together – Looking at the learning theories we have discussed in this course certainly gave me a broader picture on how they all fit into an educational context. When I started this course and reading my discussion post in week1, I would have definitely said I tend to learn in a cognitive approach when looking at the different learning theory . Understanding how the different learning theories approach certain attributes in the regards to content as well as context, I have come to the conclusion, that if I had to pick just one I would say, my personal learning supports the constructivism theory. I take previous knowledge and experience into consideration, engage in social learning with my peers, analyze my own motivation, etc. to construct new knowledge. Looking at Connectivism, I have never actually looked at it as a learning theory, but more as strategy to complement my learning. Connectivism for me has become more of a life style than a learning theory but serves its purpose just the same.
But since all these theories can actually complement each other or sometimes just work on their own, depends on what I am learning. Connectivism makes my learning more fun and due to the technology being around most of it enhances every approach in a certain way. Devices such as Ipods, Smart-phones and educational software have just made my own personal learning more fun. Technology also has its “glitches” and I sometimes have the feeling there is just too much out there and there is too much stimulus from the internet. But I believe technology can contribute to the learning experience for example through semantic web based applications which can filter information and present it in a meaningful context.
Learning about the different learning theories has certainly shed a light on how complex any learning is and how different approaches can actually assist in creating solutions and styles on how knowledge can be obtained.
Role of technology in learning (i.e., as a way to search for information, to record information, to create, etc.)
I am going to try and explain the mix of theories by choosing an example of my current situation under theses learning theories. I decided to engage in online learning to obtain my degree Adult Learning). I have limited time and for me that was an option to do my degree online. (Integrated Technology in the Classroom).
In our class I am engaging in different activities which all hold a part of each learning theory in their presentation. In the learning resources I find multiple formats of materials I can choose from such as audio, video as well as reading materials (Multiple intelligences, Behaviorism). These reading materials are found in web based format such as online library, electronic databases, online resources, Blogs, Wikis and so on (Connectivism). I take existing knowledge with the new information and start exploring the given resources on the internet (Constructivism) The semantic web enable me to structure my search by using software tools like RSS aggregates, geo-tagging) to connect to other learning groups, or to static information in the form of a simple website. I communicate with other classmates via Skype for example to share ideas, or I check an area in my classroom (Social Learning Theory / Constructivism / Connectivism). Last but not least, cognitive information processing in this setting enables me to obtain the knowledge through clear and organized instructions. I need an internal mental process which is structured into categories of what I already know, using this prior knowledge to help me with what I need to learn.
I like to be able to see the whole picture and break it down to tackle a specific issue. I respond better by using audio and visual as well as reading in a moderate mix to make the ‘information stick’ Behaviorism as an approach to learning focuses largely on stimuli and responses, things that we can see or hear (Behaviorism).
Learning theories and learning styles
As said above, I look at the learning theories as a collection of strategies. Sometimes I find it easier to watch a topic as a movie first and then read the book depending on the content. I love reading books online or on a virtual platform and read reviews from other readers. I engage in social networking to create my own personal collaborative learning space (Wikis, Blogs). I certainly love the human factor to go with it. Meeting with other people that are interested in the same topic, lets me interact with real people for example through attending the academic conferences in my area.
I have to admit that through my years in the IT industry has influenced my view on educational technology and has certainly played a big role when utilizing theses tools to enhance my personal learning. I love these gadgets that are out there and to come, are now finally being now presented in an educational context. Having worked in the education sector as a psychologist and life skills coordinator certainly has presented me with ample information on what does not work, so look for different strategies to improve my own learning and I have found that integrating technology in the classroom is one that works for me.
“Today I would say education is complex, and complexity is like a weather system, lots of multiple impacting factors. We suspect it will be like this tomorrow, but if this storm system comes up from over here or this factor changes over there, it will be completely different. That’s education today, and that’s the dimension that I’m trying to address with Connectivism is that nature of abundant information, of primary use of technology, the increasingly complex systemic-based environments that we face today.” (George Siemens, 2010)
And when I really have time, I make myself comfortable, snug up and read my book.
… on my “E-Reader”.
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 50–71
Video Program: “Connectivism” (approximately 5 minutes) George Siemens discusses his theory of Connectivism. (Laureate Inc., 2010)
Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved fromhttp://projects.coe.uga.edu/ epltt/index.php?title=Adult_Learning
Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved fromhttp://projects.coe.uga.edu/ epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism