This class has been an exciting journey through learning strategies and theories, and also technology and its applications in education. While on this journey, I have learned a lot from the course readings and fellow classmates that I will apply to future instructional design projects. I have also learned much about myself. Over the course of this paper I will discuss, among other things, how technology is actually quite human in the educational realm, what type of learner I am, and how all this information will shape my teaching style for courses to come.
In this class, we learned that there are several learning theories, styles, and intelligences. What struck me most was, despite the many different ways of understanding and absorbing information, it seems that a need for human interaction is common to most students. This is evidenced by the social constructivist theory which postulates that social interaction is a necessary catalyst for learning and development (Ormrod, Schunk & Gredler, 2009). Another theory that supports the desire to feel socially connected, even when learning in a heavily technologically based environment, is connectivism. This theory indicates that the profusion of information available to an individual can only be processed with the help of a social network (Siemens, 2010). In addition, when a student’s need for relatedness, or support from classmates, is met, the student’s motivation is heightened (Ormrod et al., 2009). Hence, it can be seen that social interaction is a positive factor in acquiring knowledge and staying motivated to continue this acquisition.
This class helped me to learn about my own learning process. Delving deeper into learning theories, I found that I identify with the behaviorist method of learning when I study new material. This is because I am initially motivated solely by the stimulus of the reward of positive feedback when assessing myself on this material instead of actually learning the material (Standridge, M., 2001). As I start to apply the information in context, I use more cognitive skills (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989). Although I knew that my information acquisition went through different phases, I could not have described the shift so clearly or pinpointed when it occurred before taking this class.
Since technology is seeping into every aspect of our lives, it was fitting that we investigated the role of technology in the classroom. I found it interesting that technology is not replacing the human element in teaching and learning, but supplementing it. In fact, the goals of successfully integrating technology have been listed as “active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts” (“Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many,” 2008). The technology available today is so versatile that it can support many different learning styles. It can be used to give immediate feedback and assessment for the behavioral learner through computer based training while advanced 3D or immersive environment simulations can support learning for the kinesthetic learner. The Horizon report predicts that one of the next big technological revolutions in education is mobile data (Johnson, Levine, & Smith 2009). This marriage of information technology and mobility promotes learning through connectivism (Siemens, 2010) and is indicative of how technology is becoming a viable resource for students today.
Although I have been an instructional designer for many years, this class still gave me the opportunity to learn new things such as creating a blog. I also have a better understanding of learning theories that describe how students learn instead of just learning styles which facilitate learning. I have added to my knowledge of technology applicable in the classroom and this is valuable information that I can pass on to students. Armed with all this knowledge, I believe I can enhance the quality of my instructional design to keep the student engaged and motivated.
Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32–42.
Johnson, L., Levine, A., & Smith, R. (2009). The Horizon Report (2009 ed.). Austin, TX: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved December 27, 2010, from http://wp.nmc.org/horizon2009/
Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson.
Siemens, G. “Connectivism” [Transcript]. Retrieved November 30, 2010 from http://sylvan.live.ecollege.com/ec/courses/53036/CRS-CW-4603373/Transcripts/EDUC6115_05_Transcript.doc
Standridge, M. (2001). Behaviorism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved December 27, 2010 from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Behaviorism
Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many. (2008, March 17). Retrieved December 26, 2010, from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction