Monday, January 23, 2012

Connectivism Mindmap (Module 4)

How has your network changed the way you learn? 

Technology has advanced at a high rate of speed. There are many diverse tools that we can now use to learn new information. In the past, we had to depend on resources located at the library to research information. I know that I am dating myself; however, I can remember when there was a card catalog in the library. Encyclopedias offered a wealth of information. I remember when a sales person came by our home; my dad bought a set for us to use. I still have the set in my possession. Today, we rarely have to leave our home or work place to do research. At the touch of our fingertips, we have a wealth of information about diverse topics of interest. The Internet has changed the way we learn in so many different ways. We have more resources than could be imagined at our disposal. Socialization, research, advanced degrees, and communication in general have been changed in a positive way. Networking has made it easier for us to learn, and it has provided us with more to learn.

Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?

The online tool that best facilitates learning for me has been the distance learning courses that I’ve taken at Walden University. I have had an awesome experience at Walden University. I have learned to use a variety of digital tools that enhance my learning experience. For example, the instructional design at Walden allows us to use email, chat, Skype, Google documents, discussion forums, wikis, and blogs.  

How do you learn new knowledge when you have questions? 

The instructors are eager to communicate and to clarify any instructions that are not precise. I learn new knowledge through collaboration with my instructor, learning communities, and colleagues through various technological tools. The search engine Google is my favorite, and it provides me with many answers about various questions. 

I responded to Margaret Hale and David Davis.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Module (3) Blog Post

Module (3) Blog Post
First, Mr. Howard Rheingold is a flasher dresser. The speaker explains how the use of technology and the Internet have provided opportunities for students to use collaboration in meaningful learning experiences. Students are given the opportunity to become engaged in their educational experience. Constructivists believe that social interactions are imperative in cognitive development. Rheingold proposes the network structure developed by the Internet enhanced communication and sharing of different types of resources. I strongly agree with his assessment. Learners can receive instant feedback and immediate results through collaboration according to Rheingold, 2008.
Do you believe that humans have a basic instinct to “interact and work as a group,” as Rheingold proposed in his discussion of the evolution of Wikipedia as a collectively developed encyclopedia?
Individuals in our society are constantly communicating with other through social networking sites, and they are forming groups. Some of these groups have a positive affect, and some of these groups have a negative impact. Facebook is a great example of a collaborative site that has individuals in groups and provides collaboration. It seems to be addictive, some people are always logging onto social networking sites while driving, shopping, at home, at school, and numerous other places. It was comical when my grandson wanted to talk with me on facebook. I had to quickly remind him that it is against the law for children under thirteen to be on facebook. In accordance with Bernhard, multi-age groups occurrs naturally in our world (Bernhard, 1988). Personally, I believe that humans do have a basic instinct to interact and work as a group. People have an innate sense of wanting to belong to an accepted group.
My first thoughts about Wikipedia are:  it is a great informative website that provides a vast amount of information, and it is a website that is not accepted by many as a credible site. For example, Walden does not want any references from Wikipedia. Personally, I don’t understand why Wikipedia would not be considered a valuable resource.
How can technology facilitate collaboration among learners based on constructivist principles?   
Constructivist instruction emphasizes problem solving, critical thinking, reasoning, and evaluation (Driscoll, 2005). Technologies such as wikis, Google documents, emails, Skype, and blogs are some of the technological tools that would facilitate collaboration based on constructivist principles. My second grade students love to use online game playing that is standard based. However, students must have training to learn how to use these tools effectively. Technology is so advanced in this era, many students are ready to use these tools to collaborate with other students in a standard based learning environment. Specific pedagogical benefits of collaborative learning include the following:  development of critical thinking skills, co-creation of knowledge and meaning, reflection, and transformation learning (Palloff & Pratt, 2005).
Find a current research study that has been conducted in the last 5 years that supports collaboration as an effective tool for learning. Include the link and reference for this study in your blog.

Creating Effective Collaborative Learning Groups in an Online Environment is the topic of this current research conducted in 2009. The URL to this article is Conclusions were drawn from observations that assessments were positive due to the effectiveness of small collaborative learning groups in online classes or in an online learning environment. Collaboration increased the sense of community, increased skill knowledge, and better responses to learning experiences. 


Bernhard, J. G. (1988). Primates in the classroom:  An evolutionary perspective on children’s education. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press. 

Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed). Boston MA:  Pearson Education, Inc.

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating online: Learning together in community. San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass. 

Rheingold, H. (2008, February). Howard Rehingold on collaboration. Vodcast posted to   

I have responded to Cheryl Carroll, Michelle Baylor, and Curtiss Vavra.