Rósa's blog page – Instructional Design

“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand” –Chinese Proverb–

Tag: Google

My learning curve

tree

Rosa’s learning tree

All through my live I have been learning. Been placed in different schools, with different teachers learning different things and always in different ways.  In my early schooldays I would say that the behaviorist teaching strategy was used to teach me basic learning.  As I got older my learning evolved up to the cognitive and constructivist learning methods and if I were to place me in the learning theory jungle at the moment I’m without a doubt located in the connectivism tree that has branches of adult learning strategies growing out on top.  At the beginning of this course I located myself as a cognitive and constructivist learner that learned best by the aid of visual tools like mind maps and learning by doing.  As of today I have totally revised my opinion and now I look at myself as a connectivism learner.

I have always been technologically inclined (or computer NERD) and have owned a PC since 1987.  It has given me advantage over my peer students being well computer and technological literate. rosanordEspecially during my Bachelor degree I felt the advantage compared to other adult students that were learning to turn on computers.  When studying for Bachelors degree we learned a lot about learning theories, teaching strategies and learning styles but I cannot recall any mention to the connectivism theory but by then I was already pursuing my studies in that style. I will have to say that this learning theory suits me well as I work with computers every day and when I’m not working I am pursuing my number 1 hobby – computers.  I use the internet widely when I need information but I have to say that my best friend is Mr. Google – if I have a problem, need information or is just plain curious, I put in a search string in Google and up comes the results. In my studies I search for information in various scholarly databases like Eric or ProQuest.  What would we do if one day there was no Google?  My life would probably be severely disrupted as I rely heavily on the internet during my work and in my personal life.

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Connectivism journey

Once upon a time learning was just about books, teacher, paper and a pencil.  When I was finishing my primary school education computers were just beginning to emerge in the school system but I did not receive any formal training in computer related studies until going back to University in the year 2007.  Then I had owned a computer for over 20 years and never seen any point in taking a course as I was a kind of a computer geek – people came to me for guidance regarding their problems.  As an IT technician I had been on a work related training courses regarding operating systems and specific programs but it was in the autumn of 2007 when I received my first computer tuition by an educational institute.  The class was mind maps and mind mapping software.

I still remember the feeling of euphoria going through my entire body – there in front of me was something that I felt was going to change my whole learning experience, something that I could relate to instantly.  During my entire University stay I used mind maps throughout every class.  Mind maps are in fact responsible for me being where I am today – back on the educational wagon.

My learning journey has changed so much from my first school days in the 80’s.  The technological evolution has been tremendous and as before you could not attend school without paper and a pencil, today you are lucky if your students bring something to write with to school.  Computers and the internet have changed the way we learn and the way our students learn.  My typical learning journey these days start with a question, either from myself or a student.  If I don’t know the answer I will go to the computer and open up Google – and most of the time Google is my friend!  Few years back it would have been a trip to the library and searching for books on the matter that would have given me the right answer.  Because we get our answers much quicker now I find society moving quicker as well.  Everything is in a much faster pace nowadays than it was 10-15 years ago.  As I’m highly dependent on computers and the internet nowadays I can’t imagine where we and I would be without it.

Connectivism?  Well I would say that my own learning journey in the past five years is a connectivism one.  Internet based research, resources, courses, articles, answers, bookmarks, social connections, video-conferencing, discussion threads, videos, chat-rooms and the list goes on and on and on.  Even now while writing this post, the WordPress application is showing me spelling mistakes on the go and appropriate links I can apply to my blog post so I can continue my Connectivism journey after I press the “Publish” button.