This week’s topic: Connectivism. Why do I need it to learn? Why can’t I just go to school, sit behind a desk, listen to a professor lecture, and just learn? Well, from my mind map, learning is not confined to the school environment. Learning from a class environment is very limited due to the time spent in the classroom. Additionally, why limit our learning to the classroom when learning is all around us. We just need to stay connected to others so that we can tap into their knowledge.
I have social networks where I can gather different types of information. I have a LinkedIn account where I can ask other professionals questions that deal with my business. From them I have learnt accounting and marketing skills among other skills. Google+ is where I have two social networks, one for cooking, and another for psychology information. Skype is my favorite tool of them all. I can use Skype as a quick email, telephone or face-to-face tool. Emails are great for sending lists of questions or drawings of ideas. WhatsApp is another great tool. I use it to take pictures and send them immediately to family and friends. My sister was recently in Costa Rica and using WhatsApp she sent me plenty of pictures and descriptions. I have learnt about Costa Rica in near real time.
Even my online school is not left out of the technological craze. As I mentioned, wherever possible I use Skype for everyone. Emails at school are great for group assignments or for sending questions to other peers privately. The discussions are great for interacting with other students and viewing and learning about each other’s viewpoint. Other people have experienced life way different from me. The school’s library is a great source of scholarly articles. I am more comfortable with trusting the writing from these articles than blogs or websites found on the Internet. School forums are a great place to meet other peers with like interest. Although, I have never had the experience of forging long lasting friendships through forums. I have had better luck in creating long lasting friendships during in-group assignments.
Using YouTube is a fantabulous tool for learning just about anything. Unfortunately, two of the drawbacks that I have encountered are the poor English narrations and the low quality images. Sometimes I have to go through quite a few videos to find one somewhat comprehensible. While on the subject of Web, although I have Yahoo, Bing, and other search engine options I tend to use Google for all of my searches. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I just like the format or it is subconsciously appealing. When researching new topics, I also like to use Google Scholarly, which provides me with research articles, which, as previously mentioned, are a great fount of factual information.
Lastly, the work branch on my mind map consist of all the tools that I use at work to stay connected. I discussed all the benefits of each item in the above paragraphs. The only one that is different is the white board. I have yet to use it as a learning tool for myself; however, I do use it frequently to teach my staff various work and non-work related topics.
Today’s technology has allowed us to learn faster and on more topics than at any other time in the past. If we don’t learn anything or we learn very little, then it is because we choose not to learn.