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 still feel that I learn best from videos and when I’m interested in the topic. Perhaps this is because my learning strengths are auditory visual learning formats and I know that when content is delivered in this format, I usually retain more information than if I had to read the same material. However, I have realized that the most important part of anything that I learn is having an interest in the topic and finding how the information is relative to me personally. Otherwise, I will do what I have to in order accomplish the things necessary to satisfy the requirements for completing the course, but will soon forget everything that I learned without having a meaningful use for the information.

I will have to say the one thing that I learned that helped direct my view on learning came from the interview with Howard Gardner where his opening statements were about how students take tests in our schools and get good grades but actual learning is not happening. This is because for many students they are not actively engaged in the learning process by making the learning their own. Therefore, the information our students are receiving is soon forgotten because the personal engagement through meaningful activities and active participation in the learning has not taken place in order for the information to be retained in long term memory for later use (Gardner 1997). Gardner also points out that because of the varying multiple intelligences, students across America are being left behind because the intelligences of individual students are not being reached. I feel that most classrooms across America fall under either Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism, or some mixture of these theories. As a face-to-face teacher, I feel that a mixture of theories is necessary in order to meet the diverse needs of the different multiple intelligences that our students bring with them. I would however include a strong presence of Connectivism in my own classroom. I feel that as each lesson, unit, assessment, and activities are brought into your curriculum that the different intellegences of your students should be considered to guide your instructional design. My instructional design should include parts of each theory working in concert with each other in order to actively engage the student in a real learning environment. This in essence is how I learn best as a student and I feel that my students learn best as well.

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?

Learning preferences are a little awkward with me, because I struggle to read materials and get a true understanding the first time around. I normally have to read materials several times over to understand what I am reading. This becomes very irritating and elicits shut down within myself, however when I am truly interested in the topic, I usually get a very good understanding of what I read and can make a deep connection with it. This brings up a question. When is it important to use a student’s learning preferences and when should the student use other means of learning that are not in the learning format the student is strong with? I know that I have benefitted from learning in ways that I am not strong with or did not prefer, which strengthened my abilities to learn in that format. There are other times when I really needed to learn things, yet they are presented in a format that I am uncomfortable with (such as reading) and I don’t feel that I retained as much as I could have if the material would have been presented in a manner that I prefer (YouTube videos).

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

I think that technology gives me the learner options in how I receive information. For instance, there have been several times in my classes that I am struggling with the articles that I was given to read and I will type the topic in as a YouTube search and watch several videos on the topic and ignore the reading in order to not give up. I have spent every night during the week trying to get through one article of reading sometimes and then the instructor will also provide a video as another resource material and I will get annoyed because I could have skipped the reading and just watched the video and learned just as much. As a student, I think it is important for me to make my preferences and struggles known to my instructors so that we can work together in making learning possible. Technology tools will help both me and my instructors to make learning happen to not only fit my learning preferences, but that of other students as well.

Resources:

Gardner, H.(1 Apr. 2009). “Big thinkers: howard gardner on multiple intelligences (Web). Edutopia. Retrieved April 27, 2015, fromhttp://www.edutopia.org/multiple-intelligences-howard-gardner-video (Links to an external site.)

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