A reflection on how my connections facilitate learning.
How has your network changed the way you learn?
As a traditional learner, I have always preferred printed books and papers. Throughout the years I have learned to become more comfortable with branching out through the internet, professional social networks, and online resources. The internet has allowed me construct connections with groups and people across the world that I would not have normally been in contact with. I have learned to reach out through blogs and learning resources with questions and insight. Through virtual learning I have changed my learning style to incorporate online connections versus face to face. I still prefer face to face classroom learning, but I continue to change as I move forward.
Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?
Students, including myself will pick digital tools to not only facilitate learning, but tools that meet their learning styles. Digital tools provide students with flexible learning paths to meet their unique learning styles (Oxnevad, 2012). I tend to use digital tools that encourage research, finding, gathering and understanding information, along with reading blogs and discussion boards. I use google, articulate learning blogs, LinkedIn, which connects me to professionals around the world, and various e-learning websites. These tools allow for research and dialogue amongst professionals.
How do you gain new knowledge when you have questions?
When I have questions, I research through the web to find resources and people that would contribute to my learning. I prefer to use educational resources, but have learned to reach out on blogs and learning groups. In addition I collaborate with my team of Instructional Designers to brainstorm and problem solve. Using both resources provides me with a well-rounded source of knowledge.
In what ways does your personal learning network support or refute the central tenets of connectivism?
I believe my personal learning network supports the central tenets of connectivism. Siemens (2014) states, “Where connectivism shares in the social history of other learning theories, where it shares in the emphasis on knowledge being distributed, there are still a few distinct points, and the most critical point is—a sequence of critical points. One would be abundance. Information abundance requires that we offload our cognitive capacity onto a network of people and technology. Secondly, the recognition that technologically, our networks are incredibly rich now, whether it’s a mobile phone, whether it’s a computer, whether it’s access to a database, but we’re seeing a significant explosion in how we start to connect with other people but also how we connect with data sources.” Using my personal learning network allows for knowledge being distributed among professionals and it provides the ability to connect with people all over the world. This allows for more robust information with a vast amount of resources.
Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Connectivism [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Oxnevad, S. (2012). Digital differentiation. Retrieved from http://d97cooltools.blogspot.com/2012/02/digital-differentiation-get-wired.html