Sunday, October 28, 2012
I thought that this course was going to be a review of the information from a learning theories class that I had taken in my undergraduate career. Some of it was but there were other parts that dug deeper into the theory or introduced a theory or concept that I was not aware of before. The class really challenged me to think about my own teaching, learning and opinions about education. These challenges are what I believe makes us better and improves our techniques as we move forward.
I was surprised at how many learning theories that I was not aware of and especially the theories that involved technology. The world is quickly evolving with technology and education is keeping stride. I was surprised that there are already theories about the use of this technology and how they affect their learning. For example, I had never been exposed to connectivism before but after learning about it, it really made sense. Also, I was shocked by reading the Horizon Report in Week 6 about the newer technologies and how they will be used in education. Some of the concepts I had never heard of before and I’m honestly not real sure how I feel about some of them.
This course has deepened my understanding of the concepts by asking me to discuss the ideas with my fellow classmates. I think that this forced me to see different opinions from people with different backgrounds, ideas, and opinions from me. This really helped me to understand the concepts deeper. In my undergraduate studies when I learned these theories it was just asking us to know the concept and recall their ideas and define then. However, I really enjoyed discussing them, hearing about how others may have experienced them, how they will be used in technology, etc. I think reading about other people’s ideas is incredibly valuable.
Learning theories, learning styles, motivation and educational technology are all highly connected. Any instructor or educational designer will be more successful if they understand the connection between them. I actually think that students should be taught these concepts as well in order to be more successful. I think if they understood how they learn and the concepts that accompany the theories, they would be better equipped to succeed. In high school I actually had a teacher that did this and I think my educational career has benefited because of it.
In a lot of aspects in my life I have already used the content that I learned in this class. I have a six month old son who is learning simple things daily. I often think about the theories behind this and how I can help him grow. I am a teacher and I have tried to use some of these concepts in my lesson to improve student understand, recall, and motivation. As a hopeful future educational designer, I can use this knowledge to better my students and make it easier for them to be successful. By providing experiences that are based solidly on theory can make the difference for students.