Sunday, April 7, 2013

Facilitated Learning through Connections

How has my network changed the way I learn?
Being able to have access to other individuals who are credentialed in the ID field and who have years of experience has truly changed the way I go about learning about instructional design.  Do not misunderstand me, my co-workers are a group of professionals and are good at what they do; however, they are not degreed IDers. Most of my co-workers are individuals who have been trained in other fields, such as pharmacy (like myself), security forces (military police), aircraft mechanic, and so on, but have decided to step outside of their primary career field and try their hands at designing. Other than a 20-day training course, the only experience most have is on-the-job training (OJT).  My new network has afforded me the opportunity to learn more about ID and has also ignited a newfound interest in learning more about the field through formal and informal learning.  Prior to this the master course I am currently taking, Learning Theories and Instructions, I have never blogged before, and I have found this network very valuable.

Which digital tools best facilitate learning for me?
My lifelines to learning are my Apple MacBook, my iMac desktop, my iPad and my mobile hotspot.  These tools allow me to stay connected to the world of learning 24/7/365.  No matter where I am, I am able to connect to the web and access to information such as my blog, Walden University facilitators, classroom discussion board, resources, library, and so on. This is what Siemens (2013) calls connectivism—a learning theory that integrates technology, social networks, and information. 

How do I gain knowledge when I have questions?
When I have questions, I first try to find the answer on my own by conducting a Google search, looking for videos on YouTube on the subject, or searching the Walden University library. Once I have exhausted trying to find the answer(s) to the question(s) I have, I then turn to those who I feel may posses the answer(s).  I know going to others is the easiest and quickest way to ascertain knowledge on questions I have, but I believe in the adage “give a man a fish he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish he’ll eat for a lifetime”. I am my own best teacher, thus the reason I decide to search for information on my own before going to others.

In what ways does my personal learning network support or refute the central tenets of connectivism?
My personal learning network supports the central tenets of connectivism in that although we are on our own individual path of learning, we are not separate for each other, in that we are forever connected socially, culturally, electronically, and via information (Davis, Edmunds, & Kelly-Bateman, 2008).  For example, I can connect with a college 5000 miles away via Skype, OoVoo, Facebook, and so on; I can go to Google and find information on any subject of my choosing whether it is for pleasure, work or homework.

Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.),
Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

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