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.