Educators have spent centuries developing learning theories. Depending on the prevailing thought at the time, the theories go in and out of fashion. In week one, I stated: “I have discovered that I learn best when I am immersed in the process.” I no longer believe that is the case.
Now that I have learned more about these theories, I believe that the stratagem of how I learn is dependent upon the end use of the knowledge I am attempting to learn. Behaviorism (though not the strict call and response) comes into play when I want to learn a new task that requires repetition and the need for automaton activities. Because this method of learning is passive, it does not take much effort to create a new behavior. With this theory, knowledge is not ‘coded’ so recalling of information can be difficult if the request is out of sequence from the original conditioning. I can see the implementation of other theories being more effective in creating new knowledge as they require internalization of information that is coded or connected to prior knowledge and experiences.
Over the last few weeks, one idea that has resonated with me is the concept of multiple intelligences. You have often heard people make comments such as math, English or science is not my strong suit. How often have you yourself stated that a certain subject was not your best? Or realized the opposite, that you have a way with numbers or various disciplines. Reading about multiple intelligences was a ‘light bulb’ moment for me. I even found an assessment test to determine what my best strengths (Feel free to test yourself here: http://www.literacyworks.org/mi/assessment/findyourstrengths.html) I found that the three strongest intelligences for me is logic/math, spatial and social. The two lowest are nature and body movement. Understanding these rankings will assist me in determining which method best suits my learning need. Because of the high social score, connectivism and constructivism are at the top of the list. I have also discovered that I employ metacognition when I am attempting to internalize information.
I use technology to assist in my learning by being the major source of research. In the olden days, research was done by going to the library looking up texts in the Dewey decimal system and searching the stacks for the books. After finding the required book, you either made copies of the relevant pages or made sat and made copious notes. With the advent of the internet and search engines, what used to take several hours now only takes minutes or even seconds. That is why I am super excited about the proposed semantic-aware applications. The idea that ‘googling’ a topic could someday only include relevant articles is astounding. My current frustration is when a search returns items that can only be considered if you are playing six degrees of separation.
I look forward to incorporating new technologies for not only my own purposes but also in the development of learning tools for others.
Assessment Find Your Strength. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2013, from Literacy Works: http://www.literacyworks.org/mi/assessment/findyourstrengths.html