Aside

My Learning Network Explained

  • How has your network changed the way you learn?

My network has changed the way I learn recently by becoming more involved in distance learning methods. I mean by this that until recently I did not use blogs, wikis or social media to learn new information. I mostly relied on my friends and other professionals at my place of work or who were friends or acquaintances. Now that I use the internet to help me not only in my studies at Walden University, but with other random questions I pose to myself, I have found that my search for credible information and my understanding of that knowledge has become more rapid.

  • Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?

The best tools for me would be Wikis and Blogs. I feel that wikis really distill the information into the basic content and that helps me understand it. I also enjoy on wikis how it separates and discusses many different points; it allows me to keep track of the information better and allows me to create a stronger foundation to learn the information upon. Blogs give me real world examples and perspectives I may have overlooked. This allows me to create more connections with the content which in return creates a stronger idea of the content in my mind.

  • How do you gain new knowledge when you have questions?

If I have a question I will begin with a basic search of Google or depending on the question will ask a friend or co-worker their knowledge on the subject. Once I receive the basic premise of the knowledge I want to learn I then look for deeper more complex information for the topic. This includes searching blogs and wikis as well as if need be using the university library. Once I feel that I have a strong understand for the new information I will then discuss my findings with friends, co-workers, and others online to evaluate my understanding of the topic.

  • In what ways does your personal learning network support or refute the central tenets of connectivism?

As explained by Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). “connectivism is driven by the understanding that decisions are based on rapidly altering foundations. New information is continually being acquired and the ability to draw distinctions between important and unimportant information is vital. Also critical is the ability to recognize when new information alters the landscape based on decisions made yesterday”. Connectivism is at its central idea about making connections from old information to new information and the use of technology to help that process. My network helps me to examine not just new information but also information about previously learned ideas that change the way I understand those concepts. The network allows me to use tools like Blogs and Wikis and connect that information with ideas i learned from a discussion with a co-worker. It allows me to rapidly grow my knowledge as well as alter my views or beliefs about previous knowledge through the many connections I have in my network.

References:

Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism

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