Sunday, August 1, 2010

Connectivism: How Connections Facilitate Learning

Walden University is the latest addition to my learning network. Since becoming a student at Walden University, the way I learn has changed. The online classroom is a new learning environment for me. Although there is not the face-to-face of the traditional classroom, the methods used do increase my learning. The discussion posts and application assignments provide effective outlets for gaining knowledge and building skills. Having the opportunity to use different technology such as blogs and web tools such as webspiration really expands my learning network. I heard of blogs before joining the Walden University, but I had never used one before. Creating a blog is a fuller learning experience instead of simply reading and posting to another blog.

My laptop makes it easier to access digital tools. Web search engines facilitate my learning the best. Being able to do a search on any topic whether personal, professional, social, or just for fun really adds to my learning. Research databases where I can look up professional articles and books is also helpful. E-mail is another tool that facilitates my learning. For example, on my current job, the staff received a training requirement through e-mail. We have information to read and a video to view. We must then complete a short quiz to turn in for credit.

I gain new knowledge when I have questions because I look for the answers. More reading and more research to gain knowledge. Questions also lead to reflection and application. Through reflection and application I make connections to other experiences which then makes the learning practical. The connections I am making now involve my former training and experience as a classroom teacher. I have also developed workshops for parents and adults who work with children.

Technology, other professionals, and information, my personal learning network supports the central tenets of connectivism. All of these components are working together to facilitate my learning.

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