Archive for October 2011

Fitting All The Pieces Together

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                Fitting all the pieces together is a great title for this particular assignment. At the beginning of this class, I indentified  my learning style to really match that of constructivism. While my opinion has not changed much, I must admit that I think I incorporate a little of each learning style into the way that I process information. I must also admit that I think connectivism is running a close second to my overall pick. I believe I maximize my learning by incorporating the two together. I will not go through all of Siemens principles of connectivism, however, while I can apply all his principles, I will list a few that I believe really relate to my learning.

·         "Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known" I like to believe that I know a little bit about everything. However, I have a drive to always want to know/learn more and more information. The more well versed I am in my profession/content, the more my students benefit from my dedication. Seeking the most up to date instructional strategies, i.e.  game based learning. To keeping it basic simply knowing how to incorporate the knowledge from this course into instruction.

·         " Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions."- This course itself is an example of this statement. While we had to use course resources to back our opinions, it is our opinions/examples/experiences that as a class we were able to relate with and learn things that we would have otherwise not have learned from just the course readings.

·         "Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision."- This is the very thing that I teach my students on a daily basis. You may make your decision now, however be ready to reevaluate when new information is added to the equation.  Because I am a history teacher this really applies to the very content that I teach. Things are constantly changing in history.

                Being an adult learner can times be difficult. There are multiple things that can hinder/affect my ability to learn. No! I really should say affect my ability to maximize my learning. In reading through one particular resource during week five, Cercone (2008) reminds us that adult learners have the cumbersome task of managing multiple careers, fewer stable structures to rely on, living longer, and aging parents while in school. (p. 129) Personally, I found that these tasks can become arduous when trying to find the right balance as well as, being successful as a husband, father, professional, and student. I know that I need positive reinforcement while juggling all of these things. The behaviorism theory really caters to me in this instance. I do not look for the opportunity to be recognized nor do I get upset when I am not from my colleagues or supervisors. I do however, like to be told I am doing a good job from my wife. Standridge describes positive reinforcement "is presentation of a stimulus that increases the probability of a response" (Standridge, 2001). Simply put, it keeps me motivated.


                Technology helps me immensely with my own learning. When looking at my personal learning network, I am reminded of the many different technologies that I incorporate in my day to day operations professionally, and personally. The sheer accessibility to information when I need it, wherever I need it is phenomena on its own merit. I plan to continue to use and incorporate the latest technologies in my obtainment of information as well as in instructional methods to present information to my students.


Cercone, K. (2006). Characteristics of adult learners with implications for online learning design, AACE    Journal 16(2), 127-159.

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved from

Standridge, M. (2001). Behaviorism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Mind Mapping Reflection

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I have been in the field of education now for seven years. In analyzing my personal network, I would be negligent to mention that I am digital native. I was born in 1977, so I must say that I essentially grew up alongside technology. I still remember televisions with the knobs on them and having to turn and tune the television with the knobs. I remember working on a computer for the first time in second grade. I believe it was an Apple computer. I know the screen was black, and the font color was green. I remember the first cell phones and car phones (they looked like mini suit cases). I also remember the my the first time CD's and CD players came out. That was the year Vanilla Ice hit big. Mark Prensky cleverly coined the categories Digital Immigrant and Digital Native. I am almost want to say that he forgot about those who literally grew up and matured as technology evolved. (Timeline of History of Learning)

I realized that the methodology of obtaining information and who I obtained information from has changed since high school. I used to obtain all of my information from books and researching in the local library. I have always been intrigued by technology and the many novel features that each venue has to offer. My personal learning network continues to expand as I learn about new, innovative technologies to incorporated in the classroom, as well as, in my personal life. When I have a question about anything, I can instantly find a set of information that I am searching for by simply using a search engine to obtain it. The only potential downfall to this knowing how to determine if the source is credible. Considering that, "by using these networks - of people, of technology, of social structures, of systems, of power grids, etc. - learning communities can share their ideas with others, thereby “cross-pollinating” the learning environment (Siemens, 2005, para. 21) cited in (Davis, Edmunds, &. Kelly-Bateman, 2008). I am able to acquire the necessary information and I able to learn/expand upon a set of information.

I am determined to become more self-directed in my learning as I move forward as an educator. I look to make internal connections with the material, as well as, learning the technology being used to host the information. This allows me to grow both personally and professionally. I am reminded that "Learning is a continual process, lasting for a lifetime. Learning and work related activities are no longer separate. In many situations, they are the same" (Siemson, 2004). Being a life-long learner it is important to keep abreast of new information/technologies, methods, and current research to facilitate the best practices in my profession.My personal learning network falls in line with Siemson's principals of connectivism which are:

  • Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions. (The tools shown in my mind map)
  • Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources. (Maryland Historical Society, National Council of Social Studies, etc... professional organiztions relative to my content area.)
  • Learning may reside in non-human appliances.(Computers, I Pad, Smart Phones, TV, Radio)
  • Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known ( I can place this in the professional realm. As a teacher of Social Studies, just knowing that there is more than meets the eye in a historical context; and that there is more information on a topic.)
  • Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning. (Being an active participant in the communities I am a member. Actively engaged trying new practices in the profession and making the proper adjustments.)
  • Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill. (Linking my knowledge and experience to other content areas, professions, etc..)
  • Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities. (Keeping up with current trends and technology)
  • Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision. (Being flexible and determining what is and isn't credible.)


Flash Media Program "Timeline of the History of Learning"

Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging    perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from  

Siemens, G. (2004, December). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal   of  Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, Retrieved October 8, 2008, from   


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