Having acquired a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles my view on how I learn has shifted towards an eclectic blend of the Connectivism, Constructivism and Adult Learning theories. I also see principles of the Social Learning theory applicable to how I learn. The Social Learning theory is considered to be a blend of Behaviorist and the Cognitive theories in that it is grounded in the belief that human behavior is determined by a three-way relationship between cognitive factors, environmental influences, and behavior (Firpo-Triplett, Regina, Kirby, Douglas, Grayson, Pat, 2015). Connectivism is a vital resource in my realm of learning today. After creating the Mind Map that identified my network of learning resources I realize my dependence on digital media for acquiring knowledge and information. I have recently heard gossip that the powers that be may implement a charge for the use of YouTube. That is something that I hope does not take place in the 21st century. I use YouTube daily for the acquisition of diverse resources (video or audio). If that ability is diminished or impeded I will need to quickly secure another information resource bearing the same features. This course has really extended my knowledge and awareness of educational and technology resources. The NMC Horizon Report is a compact but comprehensive collaboration of knowledge for those in the education and technology fields. I like the way in which the NMC Horizon Report delivers the information in small absorbable chunks, providing further reading resources that really communicates the core knowledge for the subject.
The traits of the Constructivist theory that I believe are relevant to the way I learn are based on my ability to be successful in an online course. In an online course the Instructor facilitates active social learning where the learner must nurture critical thinking skills. Students are encouraged to connect ideas by summarizing concepts; analyzing, interpreting, and predicting information; as well as justifying and defending their ideas (Education 2020 Constructivism 2015). This is a very dynamic approach to learning that I have come to appreciate and I look forward to the experience of engaging, exploring, explain, elaborating and evaluating. These stages of the Constructivism learning model cultivate my critical thinking skills which makes for a rewarding learning experience (Education 2020 Constructivism 2015).
As an Adult learner I clearly see myself aligning with the adult learner characteristics. I consider myself to be self-directed, autonomous, goal oriented and practical. The life experiences that I have accrued are essential in my ability to apply my experiences in the course discussion and application assignments. I am also eager to apply my learning and knowledge in my current career and future career experiences. I have enjoyed the ability to share and learn from other students in the course.
Technology plays a tremendous role in my learning and acquisition of knowledge. With the many social media options that are available today information is literally at my fingertips. The many platforms that are available to obtain the digital information also enables a seamless access to information. At times the myriad of digital media resources and information can be overwhelming. However, careful analysis and review of the sources can provide a relevant and reliable portfolio of information. Networking with other professional and personal resources in my network is also a viable means of learning and communication. I am grateful for technology today because it diminishes the time required in the research and analysis stage of learning. When I look back on my primary and secondary education days and the limited resources that were readily available for engaging in a comprehensive learning experience I am grateful to have progressed to the technology advances of the 21st century.
Firpo-Triplett, Regina, Kirby, Douglas, Grayson, Pat, 2015. ReCAPP – The Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention. 2015. Retrieved from http://recapp.etr.org/recapp/index.cfm?fuseaction=pages.TheoriesDetail&PageID=380#definition
Education 2020 Constructivism. 2015. Retrieved from http://education-2020.wikispaces.com/Constructivism