Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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 at this moment in time realize that I am a learner based on the Adult learning. Now more than Ever I am always looking for avenues for education. Since I have taken up military service, I have had the means to attend school and further my leanings. I do this because ultimately, there is an end to every chapter in life. I am nearing the end of my Army story. It ends with lots of training and at the minimum, a Master’s degree. Few who serve can claim this achievement, and I am proud that I had the foresight to pursue this. As an adult learner, I have my motivations and desires for learning.

     In taking the online courses so far, I feel that I have learned a bit more by being able to connect with others. The learning by Connectivism has allowed me to learn by closely connecting with the ideas and thoughts of other people online.
  • 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?
Since I only attend school online including my undergraduate program, I am more inclined to be a Connectivism learner. Connectivism has had a new impact on my learning. I have learned by connecting through people I do not even know. However, when we all attend class, we come together to synergize thoughts and ideas. This is a new way to learn for me, and I think it better suits my introverted personality. Online, I can express my opinion and not fear the impersonal smirk or snide remarks that might create a chaotic atmosphere in a regular class. In connectivism learning, this is welcomely absent.
  • What role does technology play in your learning (i.e., as a way to search for information, to record information, to create, etc.)?
Technology has helped me to do more research and uncovering ways to reach out when doing written assignments. For example, this course relies heavily on the written assignment. When I get into each discussion, I have to evaluate the depth of each question. When I start I begin at the simplest levels on the search engines on the internet. The information on the internet that is not truly scholarly, so I turn my attention to the library. I focus my efforts on the Premiere EBSCO search. However, lately the eBrary has helped me find intriguing books based off of basic search terms. Technology has also assisted in the creation of APA or MLA standard papers. There is a wealth of knowledge, including citation machines that aid in creating the proper citation.
Finally, to aid in the writing process, I do use an aide called “Grammarly and white smoke. Both are applications that can install on your computer, they act as a grammar corrector. Grammarly will add into your Microsoft word document application. After writing your rough paper, Grammarly can be used to correct it. While White Smoke corrects for pretty basic errors, it can miss some of them. Grammarly does a check on writing for, general, academic, business, technical, creative and casual. It checks for past and present tense, spelling, capitalization, plagiarism, writing styles, punctuation, wordiness, and enhancements just to name a few. It is a program I would recommend to any upper level

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blog Assignment: Mapping Your Learning Connections

Click image to enlarge.


I have brainstormed before for papers, and for working on projects, and it is extremely valuable when getting your ideas out. I created this mind map to include some of the things I think are significant to me. These things were interesting to pull out, especially the things regarding career, and learning. I learned that there are more issues that populate the more I jot down thoughts and ideas. This helped to provide a visual representation of where everything falls into place.

In a mind map, in contrast to traditional note taking or a linear text, information is structured in a way that resembles much more closely how your brain works. Since it is an activity that is both analytical and artistic, it engages your brain in a considerably richer way, helping in all its cognitive functions. And, best of all, it is fun! (What is Mindmapping, http://litemind.com/what-is-mind-mapping/)

In the absence of a physical appearance of an instructor, I have learned better when there are outside experts speaking about the topics we study. Being introduced to embedded lectures at Walden University is a welcome change of pace from reading and articles that are more time-consuming. It does help to have a physical presence speaking about ideas for the week. In addition, the informal lectures are not just readings from a lecture book. They are the thoughts and input on the topic at hand from a knowledgeable expert. This is a tool that can further assist in learning when the course work is an unfamiliar path.

When I am in a rough spot, questions on how to process are at hand. I do ask questions when I feel a loss of information. At the risk of sounding like someone without a compass, I do try to figure things out on my own to a degree. In learning, as well as in personal work and experience, I feel that questions are like an obstacle or task that needs to be knocked down. The more questions I encounter, or a problem, the more I feel like brick walls that need knocking over.

Learning has been a much better experience when the connectivity from other people assists in the process. Already the class for ID is full of experts and teachers, and educators. Many of them have the credentialing for their skills and knowledge. In addition, those who are knowledgeable have the experience to back up their input. I have taken bits and pieces from those who have the motivations and desires to talk about something we learn, and used it as my own learning.


What is Mind Mapping? (and How to Get Started Immediately). (n.d.). Litemind. Retrieved July 22, 2012, from http://litemind.com/what-is-mind-mapping/