Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Module 6 - Learning in a Digital World

Being a fellow "techy", I can definitely say that technology has had a vital impact on my life and my education.  Sitting in class hearing a lecture is often difficult to me because I become bored easily and lose interest.  During my third year of college, I discovered distance education and changed up my way of learning completely.  I began checking for my required courses and seeing if distance education was an option.  When it was, those sections were the ones that I chose.  I wasn’t a fan of having to watch videos and what not, so once I was able to work with an interface such as BlackBoard and WebCT, I was sold that distance education was definitely the way to go for me.  My life is very busy, so having the power to interact and get the same end result with an online environment helps me meet my needs without being stressed with cramming travel to and from campus into my schedule.

When it comes to education, I think that working collaboratively with groups should be a requirement.  It allows students to interact with others, gain new perspectives on particular topics and also creates a better understanding through courses.  Another plus to having students collaborate is that it is very relatable to the real world since we constantly have to interact at work and throughout our everyday lives.  Through teaching and learning I have also learned the importance of pacing and setting deadlines.  This allows the student and the teacher to progress through the curriculum smoothly and prevents a huge back up of assignments at the end of the course.  I have seen the importance of connectivism lately in my course work thanks to networking with others through social media and other mediums.  I have been able to learn many new things from connecting with others and have found that I can often talk with other classmates to get answers rather than having to contact the instructor in many cases.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Module 5 - New Technologies

When I first began working in the field of education, SMART Boards were the newest thing and I was fortunate enough to be one of the first teachers on our campus to get one.  We were trained hands on with this new device and were expected to use it daily in our classrooms.  Many of the teachers, however, did not utilize this equipment when they were able to get one in their classroom and it was instead just taking up space in a corner. 

It was disappointing because there were many other teachers who wanted to have the equipment that others weren’t using and in many instances they could not get them.  The teachers felt that they could do the same thing with their traditional white or even chalk boards that could be done.  They were accustomed to using something old and close minded about trying something new.  Whenever someone asked about getting the equipment from them, many were hesitant or insistent on keeping the equipment in case they would use it “eventually”. 

Using the ARCS model, teachers could be encouraged to pay attention to how others were using SMART Boards so they can possibly implement some of the same strategies in their own classrooms.  Relevance can be used in this way also by seeing who on the grade level or subject area was using the boards, or through finding information on ways that the SMART Board could help drive instruction.  Confidence can be built by allowing teachers opportunities to practice using the technology before having to do so with their students.  Teachers could gain more satisfaction with the technology by having the support and training available to them that they feel they need.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Module 4 Postings

I posted on Dwanell Dibartolo and Vida Martin's blogs.

Module 4 - Connectivism Mindmap


How has your network changed the way you learn?

- Right now in life, I use the Internet and my networks more than every.  I think this is because I'm able to have interaction with so many different people through doing so.  Each of my networks involves numerous people who are connected in the same way that I am to them.  This allows us to have similar concerns and experiences within the area of focus.  I can easily get the answer to a question or provide information to another person with the connections that we make througout these networks.

Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you? 

- Surprisingly enough, I get more information through social networking than any others.  These communities have grown up so much that they are now becoming more for information purposes than entertainment like I think they were initially created for.  I think they facilitate learning for me best because they include such a vast variety and amount of members that are sharing their information and experiences as well.

How do you learn new knowledge when you have questions?

- Whenever I have a question, I'm able to simply through it out there and I just wait to get responses back.  I often do this on my personal Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter.  It can be a serious question, or just one that has just been puzzling me.  Either way, I've been able to get answers without delay whenever I have been searching for new information.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Module 3 Postings

I posted on Michelle Martens-Dragalin and Heather Roger's blog.

Module 3 - Collaboration

I think how people interact with others differs depending upon their upbringing.  Whenever we are children, we typically learn to play with “the group” and interacting with other children becomes part of our development.  I think this is often different when you consider the person who was raised as an only child.  Since they are typically used to being alone and without siblings, they might not be as prone to interact or work within groups initially like others may be. 

Technology helps facilitate collaboration in many ways.  A prime example of this can be shown within this course that we are taking now.  Resources such as Google Docs and Skype are allowing us to interact, collaborate and share ideas in a group setting while being in various areas of the world.  San Francisco State University mentions a couple of constructivist principles that tie along with technologies such as these.  One is that people learn to learn as they learn, a concept that I have experienced throughout this class as I continue to gain more knowledge as we progress in this course.  Another is that learning involves language and is a social activity, two things that require interaction and collaboration with others (San Francisco State University, n.d.).

The following citation is for the study that I found that discusses improving learning through collaboration. 

Mendinhos, I. (2009). School library self-evaluation: A way to improve learning through collaboration. International Association of School Librarianship.Selected Papers from the ...Annual Conference, , 1-7.

San Francisco State University. (n.d.). Principles of Constructivism. Retrieved on April 13, 2012 from

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Module 2 Postings

I posted on Tiffany Walden and Jennifer Joseph's blog.

Module 2 - Cognitivism as a Learning Theory

I agree with Karl Kapp when he stated that “we need to take pieces from each school of thought and apply it effectively because…Cognitivism doesn’t explain 100% how humans process information and neither does Constructivism or Behaviorism” (2007, ¶ 3).  Bill Kerr’s blog contained a statement that went right along with Kapp’s thoughts.   He stated that “it seems to me that each _ism is offering something useful without any of them being complete or stand alone in their own right” (2007, ¶ 10).  Seeing that these are all based on the thoughts of others, there will never be one clear cut answer to how learners learn.  This debate can go on forever, especially considering the fact that as time progresses, other learning theories will continue to develop. 

Kapp, K. (2007, January 2). Out and about: Discussion on educational schools of thought [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Kerr, B. (2007, January 1). _isms as filter, not blinker [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Module 1 - What are your beliefs about how people learn best? What is the purpose of learning theory in educational technology?

I believe people learn best when they are in an environment and setting that is comfortable to them.  When people are in new places or a setting that in awkward, they tend to be nervous, tense or out of place which can disturb the learning process.  I think this is why we tend to have trial runs in schools when it comes to testing. We want the students to become used to the environment that they will be in and also familiar with who their administrator will be.  This will usually provide the students with more confidence before the “big day”.

I also think people learn best when they have familiarity or prior knowledge with the subject that they are learning.  Mastery of skills previously helps students build onto new skills that they are taught.  It also helps make the attainment of new knowledge more cohesive with what they already know.

According to M.K. Smith, learning theory pertains to “ideas about how or why change occurs” (2011, ¶ 15).  This ties into educational technology because within the field of technology things are constantly ever-changing.  Since the field of education and technology changes constantly, learning theory helps and gives ideas on why those changes occur. 

Smith, M. K. (2003) 'Learning theory', the encyclopedia of informal education,, Last update: December 04, 2011