I found it surprising so much has been written on various learning styles, strategies and other tools, to enhance a person’s learning process. I think it was interesting in that I never thought of an instructor analyzing a student’s learning capacity, intelligence or social factors as possible barriers to learn. Gardner’s MI theory; how it is important to recognize and nurture the human intelligences (as cited in Heming, 2008). I think it is important to remember each learner’s cognitive functions vary, and every learner is unique. In addition, I was not aware of the Horizon report which will become part of my reading to keep updated on future technological trends. For example, collaboration between online students will soon closely mimic traditional collaboration as “links between the virtual world and the real” are expected to become reality within a few years (Johnson, Levine & Smith, 2009, para. 1).
I have gained a much deeper understanding of the learning theories, and how they apply to my person earning process, but I can honestly say my learning methods have not changed. I attribute this, in part, to the fact I have been involved in formal (and informal) learning throughout in each of the last five decades, and have been part of the many technical changes made in the educational system. Ormrod (Laureate Education Inc., n.d.a) suggests individual’s processes information differently and that leads to each of us having distinct and unique learning styles. In my case, I think constant exposure to change, my ability to adapt in different environments, natural intelligence, and educational success has optimized my ability to learn.
Technology has evolved significantly over the last two decades, including playing an important part of my learning. Internet connections, search engine optimization, social networking, and hardware have no doubt increased the amount of knowledge available to us. Information on practically any subject can be accessed in nanoseconds or faster. According to Hachman, 2013), tablets equipped with surface technology will soon be made available for use in K-12 and higher education schools. I mentioned earlier, virtual world environments are not far off.
By self-admission, I lag behind in the use of social media as a networking tool, and my view on some of the platforms (i.e. Twitter, Facebook) certainly reflect my age, generation, intellect and culture. No matter what I think, though, advancement in technology, like life, goes on, and one must adapt to remain part of society (at least a little!). One thing I know is life is a constant, evolutionary circle of change.
I think an understanding in learning styles, strategies, and keeping up-to-date with technical advances can benefit anyone, not just someone involved in instructional design or formal education. I have come to believe that all the learning theories, styles and/or strategies have a place in the learning process. Understanding the various learning styles can stimulate different approaches to learning that correlate, not only to the learner’s academic strengths and weaknesses but can be applied to other areas of our life (Felder, Felder, & Dietz as cited in Gilbert & Swanier, 2008).
For example, connectivism suggests we obtain knowledge by integrating technology, social networks, and information (Laureate Education Inc., n.d.). Social learning, in part, emphasizes construction of knowledge through social interactions (Laureate Education Inc., n.d.a). Constructivism is based in part, on interpreting life experiences. In my opinion, all are dependent individual cognitive ability and our ability to self-regulated learning. In other words, no amount of technology, introduction of learning theories or other strategies will work if a person cannot process the information.
Gilbert, J., & Swanier, C. (2008). Learning styles: How do they fluctuate? Institute for Learning Styles Journal (1). (29-40]. Retrieved from http://www.auburn.edu/~witteje/ilsrj/Journal%20Volumes/Fall%202008%20Volume%201%20PDFs/Learning%20Styles%20How%20do%20They%20Fluctuate.pdf
Hachman, M. (2013, June 18). Microsoft seeks entry to the education market via the surface rt. PCWorld, Retrieved from http://www.pcworld.com/article/2042330/microsoft-seeks-entry-to-the-education-market-via-the-surface-rt.html
Heming, A. L. (2008) Multiple intelligences in the classroom. (Honors College Capstone/Experience/Thesis Projects). Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/stu_hon_theses/138
Johnson, L., Levine, A., & Smith, R. (2009). The Horizon Report (2009 ed.). Austin, TX: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/CSD5612.pdf
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Connectivism. [Video webcast]. George Siemens. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_2820276_1%26url%3D
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.a). Theory of social cognitive development. [Video webcast]. Dr. Jeanne Ormrod. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_2820276_1%26url%3D