Reflection

Reflection of Learning Theories and Instruction

Learning theories is nothing new to me as a high school teacher for the last nine year.  However, this courses approach to each learning theory has deepened my understanding on how students learn and what similarities and differences are formed from adults to younger students.  I liked reading about each of my classmates learning style from the first week and found it intriguing reading their posts and seeing first hand their style hard at work. 

This class has helped me understand my own learning process.  I initially thought that I was a little out there in terms of learning, but now have a better sense of my own personal learning style.  I also see how, at times, I use a variety of styles depending on the situation I am presented with.  I still believe that the constructivism theory best suits my needs as a learner.  Ertmer and Newby (1993) explain, “constructivism is a theory that equates learning with creating meaning from experience” (p.62).  These experiences are the key ingredient for me. 

I see one big connection between learning theories, learning styles, education technology, and motivation.  The connection is that in order to create the ideal learning environment we must understand each area and how to accommodate all of them for each of our students.  This is not an easy task, but it is one that is attainable with hard work and dedication to our main objectives of each course we teach. 

I am not sure that I will ever enter the field of instructional design.  I do know that as I see more and more technology incorporated in the classroom I will have the right tools to create content for students that is accessible from anywhere.  In fact, I plan on working to move more of my lessons online to my classroom website since our district has launched a more mobile friendly webpage design.  I hope that I can pioneer this effort and encourage other teachers to join me in taking advantage of the high percentage of students we teach using smartphones.  Already, I see myself using the material from this class and the leadership material from our previous course to make Springfield High a better place to learn. 

 

 

Reference

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. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/USW1/201360_02/MS_INDT/EDUC_6115/Week%201/Resources/Resources/embedded/Wk1_Ertmer-Newby-beh-cog-const.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fitting the pieces together.

After presenting myself with a better understanding of each of the learning theories and styles I still come to the conclusion that the constructive theory bests fits my learning style.  Each theory has multiple aspects that define its creation.  Many of the theories have some sort of overlap, which build on one another. 

Learning occurs

Behaviorism – Observable behavior main focus

Cognitivism – Structured, computational

Constructivism – Social, meaning created by each learner

Connectivism – Network, social, technologically enhanced.

(Davis, Edmunds, Kelly-Bateman, 2008)

These past seven weeks have introduced me to some things that I already understood as an educator.  However, they have strengthened my understanding for the need to provide a variety of theories in order to accommodate all the styles of learners I see each year.  I tend to fall into the trap of using the same theories and approaches over and over again.  This class has given me the information and motivation to challenge myself to come up with new ways to provide information to my students. 

Technology has always played a key role in the way I teach.  From day one of teaching I always incorporated some sort of technology into each of my lessons knowing that it will influence my students.   I now see the need to continue this idea, as well as expand on it using some of the new technologies introduced into this class.  I also see the benefits of discussion boards, which is something I have yet to use day to day in my profession.  I think discussion boards allow students to use the time allowed on the board to provide overall better answers to the questions asked.  All in all, I find that my teaching will improve for next year knowing more about these theories as well as their application. 

 

  References

Davis, C, Edmunds, E, & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/

Connectivism

          Today our society has grown through the use of complex communication.  We no longer find the need to have face-to-face meetings or even phone calls for that matter.  Social Networking has changed the way businesses advertise and market their product while friends and family stay in touch.  Many of these tools help create both professional and personal relationships. 

            If you look at my mindmap you will see a variety of tools that help me create projects and tutorials for classes I teach at Springfield High.  These tools have not only changed the way I teach but also change many aspects of my personal life.  For example, I try to build or fix anything that breaks in my home.  I hate the idea of paying someone to do it, when I can do it using all the resources the internet provides today.  Youtube has been a huge resource for this and one that I find myself using time and time again.  If I don’t know how to tile a shower wall, I simply hop on Youtube and find out exactly how to do it.  Some videos are simple, while others give very detailed information.   Connections are built through the use of comments below each video.  Can’t seem to get something to work?  Just ask the creator of the video.  Each of the tools on my mindmap serve a unqiue purpose, but the one that I use most are the tools that show me visually how to do it.  If it only explains in text, then I seem to struggle with completing the task.  (I am a visual learner)

            These networks all support the theory behind connectivism.  Stephen Downes explains that connectivism is literally the set of connections formed by actions and experience.  These connections form naturally, through the process of association.  (Downes, S. 2007)  All of these networks listed on the mindmap are formed by me taking the action of setting up an account and gathering information through professional or personal experience. 

 

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References

Downes, S. 2007.  What Connectivism Is.  Stephen Downes Blog.  Retrieve from http://www.downes.ca/post/38653d