Connected Networks & Learning:
While I was a college student most of my learning centered on text books, study groups and classroom discussion, but in the 21st century new learning networks have re-defined education. My own learning network has expanded across borders, been inspired by ancient civilizations and allowed me to interact with a diversified audience. This network has also allowed me to leverage the technology tools in the field in order to maximize my personal education. In the past this was never possible.
Tools for the Trade:
There are many tools that facilitate learning for me, but four that I want to point out specifically. These four include Prezi, Pinterest, Piktochart and Youtube. Each of these tools has its own way of delivering and organizing information and has changed the way I learn, share and organize information.
Prezi- Is a re-defined power point software that can transform a presentation. Its interactive slides and pre-made templates can give any presentation an upgrade.
Pinterest- Most people know about Pinterest, but it wasn’t until recently that I begin to create visual folders for the ADDIE instructional design process model. I’ve been collecting images that can visually walk through each step of this model in a business world. This learning tool of Pinterest has enabled me to visually design performance solutions models within my field of instructional design.
Piktochart- I’ve always realized the power of infographics, but it wasn’t until I started using Piktochart that I begin to see how easy they were to make. This software gives you endless free templates and allows you to custom design any type of infographic. It has reinforced my visual learning style and enabled me to communicate more effectively.
YouTube- In the modern era of storytelling in various settings, Youtube allows anyone to visually tell stories through video. When this learning tool is used at the right time to answer the right question it is invaluable.
How Questions Can Lead You to a New Community:
In the past when I had a question about a specific subject I would generally find my questions answered at the library or through the experiences of one individual.Today, the pursuit of a question leads you past libraries into an entirely new community of knowledge.This type of community is built around connectivism. Davis, Edmunds and Kelly-Bateman (2008) note that, “learning does not happen in a vacuum, it is at the intersection of prior knowledge, experience, perception, reality, comprehension and flexibility that learning occurs” (p.1). These modern day connectivism communities like Khan Academy, Skype, TED, LinkedIn, ATD, Wiki, and selected Google sites can not only find the answer to the questions I’m seeking, but more importantly they invite me into a community of learners that are on the same pursuit as me. Connectivism supports my learning style because it teaches you that learning networks can be assembled to find information anywhere. Mind mapping is a great illustration of this point because it visually organizes ideas and information around a single concept in order to assemble a network of knowledge. This new network of knowledge is not just isolated words on a page, but a weaved network of ideas attached to communities of learning that are located in the real and virtual world. This personal style of learning that I enjoy also supports the tenants of connectivism because it is driven by a complex network of social relationships that can recognize patterns. In the past the diversity of various educational subjects were segmented, but now within the theory of connectivism these subjects are connected through technology. This new learning ecosystem of connectivism is being built by today’s generation and the modern learner is going to need to keep up in order to be relevant.
Cercone, K. (2008). Characteristics of adult learners with implications for online learning design. AACE Journal, 16(2), 137–159. Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Reader.ViewAbstract&paper_id=24286
Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.),
Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from
Foley, G. (Ed.). (2004). Dimensions of adult learning: Adult education and training in a global era. McGraw-Hill Education.
Video Program: Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Connectivism [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu