Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Paradigm Shift

I have done six weeks of learning about learning theories and in that time I have had the opportunity to learn more about the theories of learning.  My view of on how I learn has changed to include connectivism.  We are so connected to the internet for all types of activities but I had not considered it to be part of how I learn over all until I took Learning Theories and Instructions.  I have learned that I thrive in an online environment socially and academically.  I like the fact that I can do to a virtual library and download books or documents any time of the day or night.  Thanks to PDF files I can even save a copy of documents to review later.  The theory of connectivism also lends itself to the social learning theory where I learn quite well in an environment where I can interact with my classmates online.
I have learned that I like to socialize with people in the online environment.  My socialization began with joining Facebook this October.  I just thought well this is really fun but then when I took this Learning Theories class I found out that learning could happen where ever I was as long as I had access to the internet.  I think the socialization and connectivism theories have really opened up a whole new way for me to think about learning and how I might institute learning into IDT.  I was really surprised that I could take my mobile device and use QR’s to help students stay on task when teaching while they use their own mobile devices.
Technology has had a really profound effect on how I learn.  I like the online library at Walden and I have even downloaded books from other universities using my library card.  I also like the live chat option that many sites now offer because I can access real time help if I have a technology problem.  I like the fact that when I use the online library I can download and save a copy of articles needed for my classes.  I also like to have a hard copy of the information that I have saved so I can read it and then highlight key points I will use when I am preparing to write a paper, write a post or respond to a post.
In summary since I began this class I have learned that I like online learning.  I have also realized that as a student I have an impact on others through my online post and activities.  I am a social learner thanks to the connectivism that exists through the internet.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

How Technology Has Changed My Life

So this is week 5 of my learning theories class at Walden University and I will be sharing with the world how technology has changed my life.
How has your network changed the way you learn? My network has changed the way I learn by making the resources I need right at my hands anytime I need them.  I am getting into reading all types of literature and I like to know what the words mean based on the context that they are used in the sentence the author is writing.  Technology had made it easier for me to pursue a master’s degree and work on becoming certified in the Wilson’s language reading program.  I have created a mind map and scanned it into the computer to make a jpeg.   
Facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with family and friends who do not live near me; it has allowed me to have real time conversations and see how they are doing at any time of the day or night.  The internet has provided me with inspirational messages, and endless ideas for crocheting and knitting.
Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you? I use my pc for learning along with my ipad and smart phone.
How do you gain new knowledge when you have questions? When I have questions I start out by googling my inquiries and then I take my time to read different titles on my topic until I have found an article or PDF of interest.  I also gain knowledge about questions I may have by using the library pages at Walden University especially if I am trying to support a thought I have when replying to a post by my classmates or professor. 
Speaking of learning by googling, I looked up jpeg and learned that it is, “JPEG stands for "Joint Photographic Expert Group" and, as its name suggests, was specifically developed for storing photographic images.” I did not know that this term applies to photographers and how they use technology to compress pictures in order to share them on the internet prior to doing my mind map.
In what ways does your personal learning network support or refute the central tenants of connectivism? Before I can answer the question I have to define for my audience what connectivism is per George Siemens, Connectivism is presented as a learning theory that integrates technology, social networks, and information. Education is not just based on the individual as older learning theories assert but education is now broader because of the systems in which it may be obtained. 
After looking at the definition for connectivism I believe that my network of learning through the internet definitely supports connectivism.  Education is not solely based on what I know but it is based on an abyss of knowledge through networks like linkedin, facebook, twitter, email, gmail, online universities, dictionaries of all sorts. . . All of these networks enhance what I learn and they encompass cognitivism , constructionism, and behaviorism.
Cognitive information processing theories focus on how people attend to environmental even encode information to be learned and relate it to knowledge in memory, store new knowledge in memory, and retrieve it as needed, stated by Ormrod et al, (2008) p.48.   I think the all of the new ways technology allows us to learn supports the cognitive processing because we can find different ways to integrate new information into existing information using any number of websites that distribute information in any form, (pictures, music, lectures), the student finds helpful.
Constructionism the learner makes or builds his or her own learning experiences which using technology each person can build their knowledge base in ways that are relevant to them.
As we started this class out we talked about behaviorism and the need for the student to gain information through stimulus and response. One experience I had was when I took the GRE using the computed adapted system and once I was done I had immediate results; gone are the days of waiting three to five months to receive test scores back.
Cambridge in Colour; A learning community for photographers. Image types JPEGS and TIFF files. Retrieved from  2-9-13.
Laureate Education, Inc. (2009). Connectivism [dvd]. Baltimore, MD: George Siemens
Ormrod, J. E., Schunk, H., Gredler, M. (2008). Learning Theories and Instruction p. 48-97.  Custom Publishing New York.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Strategies to Help Unique Students Learn!

 Hello to all who have come to visit Plugged into Education, it is week two of my EDUC 6115 Learning Theories class.  I will be sharing two reviews of brain based learning and their respective web sites. 

Have you ever thought about the dynamics of students who come to the classroom setting and are very articulate and can answer any question posed to them but they cannot put their thoughts on paper?  These students may have learning disabilities but they are above average in intelligence, they are twice exceptional learners.  They struggle in one area of learning but extremely sharp in other areas of education. 
The article I selected to highlight is from Orion School in Atlanta, Georgia.  This school teaches students who have a learning disability in one area but are gifted in other areas.  The article expounds upon how they teach their students using different modalities and explains the need for teachers to realize that a student with dysgraphia may have to be tested in another way because writing is hard for the student.  The use of graphic organizers and other aids like calculators, and books on CD’s are just a few other ideas that are shared here as a way to teach students with weaknesses in one area but strengths in other areas.

I have selected a lesson plan that will provide a way to categorize different learners by brain quadrants.  This article explains the four quadrants of the brain according to research done by Ned Herrmann.  Each quadrant does a different set of task.  The one common thread in the readings on how we learn i.e. cognitivism, behaviorism, constructivism, kinesthetic, visual, and other theories is that people do not use only one way to learn but that they learn in multiple ways.  This lesson plan is to help the teacher identify how they learn and then begin to use those ideas to begin to structure lessons that meet the needs of their learners.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

All About E Learning and Choices

Hi to all who want to become plugged into education!!!  I am currently a student at Walden University online working on a degree in Instructional Design and Technology.  As part of my voyage to IDT I will be sharing three web sites on education and technology.

I selected Educational Technology and Mobile Learning,

This site had a lot of useful information on how to use technology in the classroom through gaming and other methodologies.  The site shared with teachers useful ipad apps that teachers could get in order to enhance teaching. There are videos and YouTube suggestions.  Bloom’s Taxonomy is on here but not just the pyramid but the author includes different learning domains; cognitive domain, affective domain, and psycho-motor domain.  This site is a treasure trove of information, ideas and useful technology ideas that can be incorporated into teaching or taken into a school district as an in-service of ideas for other teachers who are not using technology.

I thought this web site was useful because I have a sixteen year old son who has informed me that when the teacher is teaching some of his classmates are sending text messages to one another and using Facebook.  I then began to think I would be really mad if I were up teaching and my students were enthralled in their technology devices, so my next thought became why not as a teacher tell the students to take out their smart phones and goggle a topic currently being taught and share that information.  First share it in groups of two or three and then do a class presentation on what they have learned.

The second blog I selected was one that was totally out of my range of experience but as I work on this degree I want to know what else is out there in the field if IDT, as in what skills will I need to take my teaching out of the traditional K-12 setting into other areas?  So I found this think outside of the box management blog.  I did some reading within the blog and found useful tips about how to do a presentation and what things will kill a presentation.  There were YouTube videos as well as ones that the reader could click on and then read the slides for themselves.

The third blog that I found was most definitely a find.  It contained a lot of information on story boards in eLearning learning.  This site featured information about what an informational designer does, it suggested books to be read by beginning designers and basically contained more information than I could really explain.

Well happy Blogging to all and to all a blogging good night!