When I first started my journey in this class I had a strong bond with the cognitive learning theory. Cognitivists believe that “Learning is concerned not so much with what learners do but with what they know and how they come to acquire it” (Jonassen, 1991, as cited in Ertmer & Newby, 1993, p. 58). This resonated with me because I have come to believe that learning should be very learner centered. From my experience learning is much more effective when the learner can help dictate the activity.
Before this class my prior knowledge about learning theories was based on the behavioral and cognitive learning theories. After spending this semester to learn more about other learning theories I have developed a much different opinion about learning and technology. In my newly found knowledge about learning theories I have adopted a more modern appreciation for learning. I now believe that connectivism is the wave of the future. Connectivism is when a student creates their own social network in order to answer questions. According to Davis, Edmunds and Kelly-Bateman, learning occurs when a student participates in a social network of many different connections that are made possible through the use of technology (2008). The marriage of learning and technology is an important union for the field of training.
When you apply connectivism to your everyday life it becomes apparent how often we turn to technology to help us learn. Everyday each of us are constantly updating our facebook statuses, searching on google, checking out a friend's blog and checking the most recent celebrity updates. Technology is apart of our lives and has become our primary source for knowledge.
Although I believe that connectivism is a very important idea in learning, I believe that it is a blending of all learning theories that can really help us to reach our students. Knowing and understanding all of the theories will help us as designers to reach our audiences in a more meaningful way. It is important for us to appreciate all of the different theories for all of the different learners. This idea of blending is what I will take away from this class.
Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved 11/30/2010, from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 50–71.