My Learning Connections

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Reflection

There are many aspects of the “Learning Connections Map” that has changed over the years.  Especially since I have become a teacher in my own classroom.  It is very interesting to me that if I wouldn’t have been attending college for my Master’s Degree then I probably would have struggled more than what I did in the first years of teaching.  All of the bubbles that are within my MindMap are very important and in many ways work together to make-up my learning connection.  I would have been completely lost if it hadn’t been for my amazing co-workers and classmates that were there to provide ample knowledge in every aspect of my career.  Also, it was very important for me to go to training’s and conferences the first couple of years that I was teaching.  I learned so much about the curriculum and about the different teaching techniques that I could utilize within my classroom so that it would be beneficial for not only my students, but also for myself as a teacher.  The courses that I was taking were another very important factor in the success of my first years.  I had the opportunity to talk and get advice from some amazing educators as well as the professors that were teaching the courses.  If not for the content that I learned and all of the support that I was receiving I don’t know if I would have made it.  Last, but not least, were the online resources that are always available.  It is amazing to think that many of the teachers that are at my school did not have these available to them until half way through their career.   I know that I would have been lost the last 2 years had it not been for all of the resources.  TeacherTube is a wonderful sight for Mathematics teachers!  Among all of the factors that are complied through the Mind Map they are all intertwined and very important for any educator.

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ITD 546 Course Reflection

This course has been a very interesting learning experience especially for a current educator.  The information that I have acquired throughout this course of the different learning styles and the way that I can assist my students through knowing these different styles is going to be very beneficial for the rest of my career, not only in the regular education classroom, but especially in the online teaching environment that I hope to one day be in.  Not only has the content of this course been beneficial for those uses, but it has also brought to my attention the different learning styles that I have used through my educational career and what is most helpful to aid in my own learning of new content.

I have had a chance within this course to review the different learning styles and evaluate my own.  I always thought that I learned better through the Behaviorist Learning Style, but the further into this course, I realize that I learn better through the integration of several different learning styles (Social Learning Theory & Constructivism, as well as Behaviorist).  Knowing that if it had not been for the content within this course, I would not have been able to identify different learning styles within my classroom.  Some additional information about the other learning styles that I find useful especially that of Social Learning Theory, is that I am and have always been a very social person.  I just never realized that being social was a type of learning theory.  Knowing this information is beneficial to my students because now if I have students that learn better using this learning style I can develop my curriculum to allow them the social aspect of the assignments within the content.

I also have to say that it is important for a teacher to realize that just because a majority of people learn with a particular learning theory these same people will more than likely learn by more than just that one way.  It is not only important for the teacher to know the different learning styles, but also recognize that you do not have to integrate all of the learning styles present in your class in order to teacher to all the students.  This is one of the major struggles that teachers face, the thought that they have to integrate all of the learning styles at one time.

The information that I have learned that connects the different learning theories with the learning styles that I have researched is very beneficial for all of the different aspects to instructional design.  This is also going to be useful when my career starts with online teaching.  It will be helpful to know what learning styles are more dominant and what technologies that I can use to aid in my students learning.  Essentially, the benefits of thoroughly knowing the different learning theories and styles is important to the student and the professor.  As an educator, we tend to think that more is less and we try to integrate as many learning styles into a particular assignment or chapter.  However, this is not the case for many courses that are dealing with educational technologies, and even those that have nothing to do with technology.  Sometimes we lose thought of the importance of the content by the integration of technologies.  It is important to know that because there are many tools of educational technologies teachers do not have to integrate all of them into all of the assignments.  It is essential for the teacher to know that students get overwhelmed just as teacher do.  Therefore, spreading out the use of technologies throughout the course could be very useful if the technology integration is to be used properly.

I suppose that through the rambling of this reflection I would say that the knowledge that I have acquired has and is going to be very beneficial to my students learning within my classroom.  Also, it has been very useful for me to know that for the rest of my educational career I will hopefully be taking courses by professors that can use the different learning styles that are easier for me to learn through as a reference to assignments, discussions and projects.

Fitting the Pieces Together

Now that you have a deeper understanding of the different learning theories and learning styles, how has your view on how you learn changed?

I suppose that through the last seven weeks and all of the research and resources that have been reviewed there I have a greater understanding of learning theories that I had no clue were so intertwined.  It was interesting to see that during Week 1 of this course I was very close minded and thought that I was only effective in learning with only using one learning theory.  However, now that I have looked at the resources available throughout this course and for research for the Learning Theory Matrix assignment I have realized that it is essential for me to use several different learning theories to have a complete understanding of the content then just using one theory.

What have you learned about the various learning theories and learning styles over the past weeks that can further explain your own personal learning preferences?

I began this course thinking that I was more comfortable learning through the Behaviorist Learning Theory.  However, I now know that I also am comfortable with Social Learning Theory as well.  I have always been the person in the group that takes over and just completes the assignment if the rest of the group will not step up, but I also thoroughly enjoy if I am working in a group setting and there is knowledge being passed throughout the group so that everyone is learning new information.  I strongly believe that everyone has something different to put into a situation and through the Social Learning Theory it is the way that the learning theory works.

What role does technology play in your learning (i.e., as a way to search for information, to record information, to create, etc.)?

As of right now, technology plays a huge part in my learning.  It is the lifeline of communication, research, discussions, assignments, group work, interaction (of any kind with students and professors) and pretty much everything else that my education needs at the time.  It is imperative that all things with technology work properly or I am at a loss for all things involving my education.  I know the importance of the information that can be acquired through the technology that I use on a daily basis for my education, as well as my job.