Thursday, February 16, 2012

Philosophy of Learning with Technology

Online classes were made for a person like me. I love using technology, and I prefer to learn at my own pace. I was never one to trust the ‘sage on the stage’- in face-to-face courses I always silently questioned the stories that came from the lecturer or professor. With technology, my educational experiences have been standardized and I have been left on my own to make my own determinations of what is relevant knowledge and what is fabrication.

Technology must support learning by providing an engaging, intuitive environment. Learners should be able to use this learning environment to evaluate their own needs, make decisions, make connections and network, and authenticate their experiences. Technology should support learning by doing, learning by connection, and learning by reflection.

I responded to:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hesitant Users- Kellers ARCS model

I work in a traditional university setting where online education is somewhat viewed as a "threat" to traditional ground based, instructor led courses. Online learning is scary to some, and even scarier are electronic textbooks, which our university is piloting. We have seen some major apprehension when trying to implement this new way of using textbooks-the major concern being the student not being able to hold a physical text, write in it, ear mark the pages, and then resell it. In a roundabout way, we have used Keller's ARCS model, by:
  • giving ATTENTION to the faculty members who were most concerned. We set up meetings, let them speak their piece, showed them examples, and heard what they had to say. We validated their concerns.We got their attention by showing them studies, bringing in e-readers, and showing them what e-texts could do for our students.
  • showing the instructors why e-texts were RELEVANT in today's society. 21st century learners welcome the opportunity to use electronic devices, textbooks are quickly becoming a rule, not an exception. We also validated their concerns by showing them multiple options for accessing a text and even getting a print version for those completely opposed to electronic.
  • we provided pre-training to give them CONFIDENCE in the new technologies they were about to use.
  • we surveyed the SATISFACTION of both the students and the faculty and used their feedback to alter our implementation for the e-text roll-out. We heard their voices and rewarded them with an altered plan to suit their needs.
Responded to:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


How has your network changed the way you learn? My network is very internet based, since I spend the majority of my time on the computer. I have specific websites that I visit for information, whether it be personal or professional. I feel I am a visual learner, but I do prefer to have some reading material when I learn. The best tool for me is a text based description with either a still image or a video supplement. Audio by itself does not do it for me, and I prefer to have information right at my fingertips- if I have to follow a bunch of links to get where I am going I generally give up. As far as learning goes, I need immediate gratification. If I have questions and I am looking up information on the internet, I generally will start at FAQ sections (if applicable), and as a last resort, I will contact the person responsible for the information. I learn best when left to my own research and methods that suit my time and method of learning.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Interacting and Working as a Group

A group in generally considered two or more people working together in such a manner that each person influences and is influenced by the other. Rheingold makes a point that our ancestors had to hunt together to take down large prey, which demonstrates the cooperative nature of a human being. It is my belief that basic instinct is for humans to be self sufficient, but collaborate when necessary. It is my experience, with a husband that hunts, that collaboration is necessary when packing, gearing up, finding shelter, and preparing for the hunt, but then the act of hunting is a solitary endeavor. I think it is the same when in an educational environment. In a class, we talk as a group, share ideas, prepare a project and may even present collaboratively, but the act of ‘learning’ a concept is a solitary effort. Effective collaboration also depends on the group dynamics. Some people prefer to work separately, and some people prefer collaboration, and some prefer to be in charge. It is my belief that the learner should be given the choice to collaborate, as it can be a daunting process unless a controlled system is put into place in order to facilitate the cooperative group effort. The Internet has provided the avenue for collaboration online, and now with cloud computing, sharing is easier than before.
The following is a link to an article about online collaboration and the strategies to promote effective online collaboration.
Brindley, J., Blaschke, L. & Walti, C (2009) Creating effective collaborative learning groups in an online environment.