Sunday, February 24, 2013

EDUC 6115 Week 7: Fitting the Pieces Together

My assignment this week is to reflect on how my view has changed since the beginning of the course, now that I have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles. After reviewing what I wrote for my first discussion post in this class, about which methods are best for my own personal learning, I realized that my views from that first week were mostly inadequate.

Seven weeks ago I was not familiar with the different learning theories, styles, or aware that I was already heavily dependant upon using technology to learn. With this limited knowledge, I viewed myself as a self-directed learner that could simply read through class materials and grasps new concepts with repetition. Since I did not have any prior exposure to learning theories, I found that this was not as easy as I had expected. To overcome my lack of experience in this field, I referenced my classmate’s experiences that were shared in our group discussions. I read through my peer’s postings to find examples of how these theories were applied in a classroom.  During the forth and fifth weeks of class, I figured out that I was applying a constructivist goal to my own learning. I even posted the following statements in our discussion group to show the connection that I had made:

“As a self-directed learner in this course, I find that I am encountering a lot of challenges with understanding theories that I have no personal experiences to reflect upon. When this happens, I end up having to repeatedly read my classmate’s discussion posts until I am able to find a link between the course resources and a peer’s experience” (McLaughlin, 2013).

I believe that last week was a pretty significant tipping point for me in this class, as I was able to piece together the realization that I should be expanding my areas of study and finding ways to use different learning styles outside of my comfort zone. After all, as a future instructional designer, I do not want to be limited to creating instruction for just one learning method.

In addition, I expect technology to continue as an extremely valuable tool in my learning. I can utilize search engines on the Internet for research. I can subscribe to more blogs, and read them on my mobile device. I can create activities that include Quick Response (QR) codes. I can increase my social media presence in order to connect with other Instructional Designers. I will keep an open mind and be happy to embrace new technology as it becomes available.


McLaughlin, A.L. (2012, February 7). Week 5: Adult Learning Experiences. [Discussion group comment]. Retrieved from the Walden University Blackboard Learn discussion group:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

EDUC 6115 Week 5: Mapping My Learning Connections

Yesterday, I posted a visual example of my learning network mind map. Tonight, I would like to reflect upon how my connections facilitate learning by answering the following questions from my instructor, Dr. Weaver.

How has your network changed the way you learn?

I think that technology advancements have made the biggest impact on the way I learn. In the learning network mind map that I posted yesterday, you should notice how the majority of my resources are through electronic learning devices and outlets. Whether I am using my MacBook to log-in to my Walden class, subscribing to a blog about connectivism through the Google Reader App on my phone, or reading through articles emailed to me from my mentor at work; there is not one area of my learning network that is void of technology.

Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?

Right now I have to say that there is a tie in the battle of the greatest digital tool facilitator. Both Google searches on my MacBook and RSS subscriptions through the Google Reader app on my Samsung Galaxy III phone have been extremely vital in providing me with the digital tools that I need to survive my quest for higher learning. Currently, some of my favorite RSS subscriptions are as follows:

The Writers Gateway - Let's Talk Instructional Design located at:

The e-Learning Coach located at:

ASTD Conference Notes from Kapp Notes located at:

Usable Learning located at:

How do you gain new knowledge when you have questions?

The ability to search any subject online through the Internet is possibly the most efficient digital tool in my learning network reservoir. I am convinced that I would be completely lost without Google. There are times that I hate how much I turn to Google to find answers, but there is no denying that it is a wonderful tool. For fun, I searched for Google’s impact on learners. This research brought me to an article by Terry Heick (2012) that sums up my Google dependency efficiently by saying, “it creates the illusion that answers are always within reach even when they’re not.”

In what ways does your personal learning network support or refute the central tenets of connectivism?

I believe that connectivism supports my personal learning network, because I am able to form connections between digital sources, teachers, classmates, written materials, colleagues, and social media. I believe my learning network is multi-faceted, and has opened up a two-way channel of information between my resources and myself. It is also diverse, and allows me to interact according to my own knowledge and values.


Heick, T. (2012, August 16). How Google Impacts The Way Students Think. Retrieved from