- Which of the three learning theories covered in this module best reflects how you learn? Why?
I don’t learn best with one specific approach to learning, but I do better with a multitude of approaches. Aspects from, cognitivism, constructivism, and connectivism all appeal to how I learn. Constructivism contains the most aspects that I feel reflect my style of learning, but pure constructivism is not only how I learn best. Problem or project based learning motivate me the most, and therefore I generally learn better when I am allowed the freedom involved in that type of learning. That being said, sometimes I need more guidance. A good example of this is in math when learning new concepts. Even if I have all the tools necessary, like background knowledge and manipulatives, I need the basic principle explained to me in a more teacher-directed way. From there I can begin to practice on similar problems, and with a lot of guidance can move on to related problems. Another cognitivist idea that appeals to my learning style is using organization tools like mnemonics to help me remember important concepts. With some subjects, I might learn better with a combined teacher-directed and student-directed approach, and with some subjects, a student-directed approach may work best. I find that I am much more engaged when tasks are authentic (real-world) tasks, and can collaborate to construct meaning.
I am starting to become more aware of how I learn in a connectivist way. One great example is my avid use of the website Pinterest, which allows me to create networks of knowledge that are easily accessible. I have a board that is dedicated to ideas that I can use for work, and have found myself referring to that board while I working.
2. Identify and explain three ways that technology could be used by a teacher to help you learn in this way.
Since I have such diverse needs when it comes to learning, there is a wide variety of technology that can help me learn.
i) One way that a teacher could use technology would be to show a TED talk. I find most TED talks very engaging and informative, and if I take notes I feel that I can retain a fair amount of the information presented. Often TED talks leave the audience feeling uplifted in some way, and for me, that acts as a motivator to learn beyond the talk as well. In my opinion, TED talks are a good tool to introduce a topic.
ii) Mindmeister is a mind-mapping tool that can help visual learners organize information in a way that works best for them. This cognitivist tool has allowed me to put what I’ve learned about learning theories into my own works and organize it visually. Since I am in part a visual learner, this tool has been effective in helping me grasp the main ideas about learning theories.
iii) So far, I am finding that making an ePortfolio is an effective way for me to learn about technology because I’m actually using it. After being taught the basics in our first online class, I was able to navigate WordPress and Twitter, and I have found that putting everything that I’ve learned in one places makes for easy reflection. This allows me to make connections between the main topics of each module.