Despite my new knowledge about the different learning theories, my view on how I learn has not changed much. The item that sticks out the most to me was the information on interference and its effects on learning. Because interference can play a big role in the learning process especially for someone like myself who has attention deficit hyper activity disorder I paid particular attention to information contained in those chapters & articles, as well as doing additional research.
I have learned a few things that have helped re-structure how I learn and has helped me to look at learning with a different perspective. I first would like to revise my statement from week two, “According to Orey, M., “Rehearsal can be used to get information in long term memory, but is very inefficient.” This did not hold true for me. It became crucial for me to implement advance organization, self-planning, self-monitoring, and self-evaluation into my everyday learning (Orey, 2001).”
Rehearsal can be very useful in learning, as I progressed through this course I realized that Orey was right. I re-assed specific instances when I used rehearsal strictly when learning versus when I would apply the other learning theories to my learning. A vivid example that I can remember was anything related to my anatomy & physiology courses. I would primarily use rehearsal to learn the items, take the test, but would proceed to lose a plethora of information that I once retained as time progressed. Orey expressed that rehearsal can be used to get information in long term memory but is inefficient. I don’t agree fully that is in inefficient, perhaps for some people, but for math it was the best way for me to learn. I do agree that it is inefficient in embedding the information into your long term memory. Once again, for a cognitive learner rehearsal may be ideal for retaining information into your long term memory but for me, constructivism & connectivism is the most efficient practice.
In week three we learned about behaviorism. Once I began to understand the concepts of behaviorism I started to purposely look for one of Standridge’s definitions of behaviorism, “Changes in behavior result from stimulus-response associations made by the learner.” Over several weeks I interacted quite a bit with my younger nieces and nephews and noticed how quickly they would learn and how much a stimulus-response played a part in their learning. They way my aunt’s and uncle’s would teach or discipline the kids was as if they were trying to program a behavior with very simple instructions (behaviorism=lower level learning). As Kapp stated, “If you are working simply on stimulus-response, then you are working on programmable behavior." In addition, we all still use behaviorism to learn, an example of such would be, in the past watching my teammates during practice or professional athletes and simply listening to what they had to say and watching them perform the actions.
From week four, I stand firm in my belief that it is only partially possible to create a true social environment in an online classroom because of the lack of physical interaction. Physical interaction is a foundation of learning from the beginning of time before any technology was present. Because of our advanced cognitive abilities, humans will always require physical interaction to fully comprehend any type of learning. When people say they are better hands on learners they are referring to the physical or tactile aspect of learning. While physical or tactile learning is essential in the learning process, it is not required and learners can still benefit from other avenues of learning. Davis et al. stated that, “Theories including connectivism do not become obsolete by any means, but they do need to be used in a very different way to be able to incorporate the attributes of a 21st century learning environment.” Similar to what Davis et al. mentioned, over the past weeks I have realized that I no longer require traditional or hands on learning due to the technological advancements in learning environments in the 21st century, but rather use it as a tool to aide my learning through constructivism and connectivism.
Technology plays a very large part in my learning. It is vital to utilize the different technological resources that are present and continue to learn about new and developing technologies. With the constant flow of information and new technology, information is more abundant than ever. “The span of time between learning something new, being able to apply it, and finding that it is outdated and no longer useful continues to decrease” (Gonzalez). Gonzalez refers to this as the “half-life” of knowledge. I agree with our Vygotsky in saying that, “It is entirely possible to learn about discoveries, inventions, and ideas in an online environment.” With modern technology such as satellites, internet, and mobile phones & applications it is possible for us to learn about these important societal discoveries. With the advancement of technology I can obtain complex instructions to modify or create items while reviewing past experiences and choose to replicate the results or create new information all in real time. In almost all cases the advancement of technology benefits us. However, one thing we all have to consider is the authenticity of the information we are obtaining from these mediums, i.e. Wikipedia.
My goal is to create the most robust, accurate, engaging, fulfilling, and user friendly experience for my learners. I am very excited to continue my course work so that I can create my own learning environment and combine it with technological advancements from educational providers such as Google (http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/edu/university.html) and Apple (http://www.apple.com/education/?aid=Edu-IntSearch-C).
Kapp, K. (2007, January 2). Out and About: Discussion on educational schools of thought [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://karlkapp.blogspot.com/2007/01/out-and-about-discussion-on-educational.html
Orey, M. (2001). Information processing. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Information_processing
Vygotsky, L. (1962) Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA. MIT Press.