Writers Block! I always experience it—some days more intensely than others. Writing this blog was one of those intense blockage times. Try as I might, my brain refused to cooperate—for three whole days. I was starting to panic but finally, the moment of “epiphany” arrived at 7:59 A.M. on Friday..…whew! This week has been somewhat stressful for me. And when I am overly stressed I don’t function well, my creativity is blocked, and consequently my learning is affected. And so to the question “How do you learn?”, I definitely learn best when I am not overly stressed. This blog summarizes what I have already addressed throughout the last seven weeks through my discussion posts and through the Learning Matrix: my view on how I learn, my learning preferences, and the use of Technology in my learning process. I hope you find it informative.
One size does not fit anyOne….
At the beginning of this course, in Week 1, here is how I described my learning process: “As I examined my personal history of learning, I realized that I had to adapt to the methods of learning that were available and applicable throughout the different stages of my life. Furthermore, the environment I grew up in (culture, language, political situation) has greatly influenced how I learn.” Today, in Week 7, almost at the end of the course, I still believe this to be true. However, the greatest revelation in my understanding of the learning process has been the recognition that:
- different learning theories and styles exist and that each theory and style serves in different learning situations
- no one theory or style is the absolute best
- each learner is different and each learns differently
- understanding my own learning process is important in helping me identify and nurture my learning preferences
- understanding my own learning process helps me recognize the similarities and differences (of my learning process) with other learners
Furthermore, as I noted in my MindMap blog in Week 6, everything that facilitates my learning: essential tools, guidance from MKOs, support from family, friends, and colleagues, my extracurricular and social activities are all the pieces that make my learning whole and possible. My attitude, values, purpose for learning, life experience, and environment—both people and non-people are all factors that affect and influence how and what I learn.
Being who YOU are…..
The ideal learning environment for me is one that fosters the learner’s individuality (uniqueness) in the learning process. As I noted in my Week 6 discussion, I believe that learning (academic) should be in sync with other aspects of our lives. Siemens, G., Knowing Knowledge (2006), (p. 47) states, “Learning is continual. It is not an activity that occurs outside of our daily lives. We have shifted from when we learn……to learning in synch with life; constant, ongoing.” We exhibit our individuality in other aspects of our lives and are most creative when given the opportunity to be ourselves. Extending that individuality to the learning environment can maximize the learning process. And so to me, the Learner-Centered approach of Multiple Intelligence Theory has the potential to do just that—foster the uniqueness of the learner and facilitate the “crystallization” of the learner’s intelligence(s). And so far, I consider my learning experience at Walden University very much aligned with my preferences.
Can’t do without it…..
Almost everything in my learning process requires the use of technology in some form—Word Processing, Email, Internet access (via computers or mobile devices) for information, networking, and connecting with others for learning. My education here at Walden University would not be possible without the use of technology. The use of one technology progressively leads me to the discovery of another awesome tool. Online learning (technology dependent) has enhanced my communication skills by fostering interaction with my classmates and instructor through the discussion posts, blogs, and email. Technology has provided me a forum where I can share my opinions, knowledge, and experience—which otherwise may not have been possible in a traditional learning environment. Discussions on whether or not technology is making us more human or less human continue—some in favor of technology, others against it. My personal belief is that it depends on how and what technology is used for. For learning, it is essential.
Amber Case, a Cyborg Anthropologist who “…studies the symbiotic interactions between humans and machines” makes her case on how technology is making us more Human. Enjoy her presentation video from TED.
Thank you for reading. I look forward to your comments.
Amber Case – Biography http://www.ted.com/speakers/amber_case.html
Howard Gardner, Multiple Intelligences and Education – http://www.infed.org/thinkers/gardner.htm
Siemens, G., Knowing Knowledge (2006). (p. 47) – Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/KnowingKnowledge_LowRes.pdf
Simply Psychology – http://www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.html