CONNECTIONS THAT FACILITATE LEARNING
Social Networking, Instructional Technology Networking, K-12 Online Learning, Blogging, and Personal Learning
I never could have imagined the first time I turned on a computer in elementary school while living in the Bronx (the Apple IIe from the 1980s) as to how much technology would become so integrated into our daily lives. We are now a part of a network that incorporates technology for communicating, networking, and learning. I welcome the evolution of technology and although not every need can be met through technology, it definitely opens up avenues for a plethora of information that goes beyond the dimensions of four walls.
In learning, I find that videos (webcast, podcast, and webinar), discussion boards, and interactive online activities have enhanced my understanding of topics. In addition, most of what I learn in class (virtual or face-to-face) can be reinforced through online resources and online networking. Through researching and communicating with others, you can be aware of the different sources available in facilitating your learning and keeping you exposed to different perspectives, ideas, and sights that you may not have the opportunity to experience otherwise. Some may argue that technology can make life more convenient but it can also cause us to be “dumb-downed.” I think that given the right platform, technology used appropriately can give us access to a variety of information and serves as a supplement to life-learning, social-learning, and educational-learning skills.
I believe my learning networks support connectivism because I consider us constantly learning with an integration of technology whether it is writing an essay or solving a math problem to designing an invitation or creating a meal. Technology and networking can be implemented in all those scenarios. You have access to those resources whether from accessing an online writing lab through the college you attend, viewing a YouTube video, or reviewing online recipes. In the 21st century, information is continually changing reaching more people and at a much more rapid pace – what we can deem as the “half-life of knowledge” (Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman, 2008). Connectivism demonstrates how the learning process can be enhanced especially for our modern society. It is inevitable that our personal and educational learning is affected by technology, social networks, and digital resources. George Siemens addresses connectivism in which the distribution of knowledge is by no means simple or even complicated, it is now complex. It is consisting of an abundance of information and technology that connects us in various ways to people and sources (Connectivism, 2009).
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/index.php?title=Connectivism
Connectivism. [Video podcast]. (2009). [With George Siemens]. Laureate Education, Inc. Retrieved from Walden University Blackboard Learn online course EDUC 6115-5 Learning Theories Instruction.