This week’s application was dedicated to the theory of connectivism which “emphasizes the idea that knowing where to find knowledge is as important as the knowledge itself as knowledge is always evolving with concepts being born or becoming obsolete” (blalockj3405, 2011). The first step in learning of this theory was to create a Mind Map. This was a new concept for me, but one that I can see using frequently in the future. Using software from http://www.spinscape.com/, I was able to brainstorm several types of networks that are commonly used in learning objectives. I will discuss these networks, the components which I am familiar, and how each of these components has affected my learning.
There are several electronic devices that are used in today’s society making technology accessible from wherever, whenever. I use my laptop computer, Kindle tablet, and cellphone to ensure that I have communication with friends, family, and employers as well as for access to on-line networks, social media, and school courses. Technology has made living more convenient, comfortable, and faster paced by allowing us to stay current of popular trends and world events while offering peace of mind.
As a graduate student at Walden University, it is important to have unlimited access to the online environment. Resources including the Walden Library, Tech Resources, Discussion Forums, and Email are available on my laptop, Kindle, and cellphone so that I can read, study, post discussions, and check messages from my Instructor wherever I may be—baseball games, out of town trips, or even the school pickup line. It is important to me to receive a quality focused education and therefore immediate access is vital. Tools such as Google and Yahoo allow me to gain additional resources and therefore increase knowledge of concepts and objectives, while my blog as well as my classmates’ blogs allow me to learn from others through peer collaboration. Yahoo and Google are tools that allow me to stay current on new trends in the Instructional Design field, and how this occupation is making an impact on adult learners around the globe.
Social media is another network that has impacted learning and connectivism. Who would have ever thought ten years ago that society would be able to log into their computer and share pictures, events of the day, or chat with someone they have not seen in twenty years? Employers are now using social media to gain access into the life and experience of job candidates through Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In. Job candidates and students can use Linked In and blogs to reach out to employers and others in their same field to gain knowledge and helpful tools to increase their hiring potential. Employment resources such as Monster and Career Builder are used to find jobs in local areas as well as demographics with a need for our technical and design experience.
Connectivism allows students to learn from others through various networking applications. Learning through the online classroom, online networks, employment resources, or through social media, we have many more networking abilities accessible now than ever before. Networking allows us to learn through the experience and knowledge of others, and it is important as we grow to become experts in our field that we continue to use the various modes of communication to stay current. The world is ever-evolving and we must always aim for the top!
blalockj3405. (2011, February 6). Connectivism. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from Teaching and learning resources: http://teachinglearningresources.pbworks.com/w/page/31012678/Connectivism.
Spinscape, Inc. (2007-2010). Spinscape. Retrieved May 28, 2012, from Spinscape.com: http://www.spinscape.com/.