Connectivism is about how the brain processes information by linking ideas stored in our memory and then being able to retrieve the information.. We can learn anything through using any of our senses. Using technology does not change learning.
We have learned to read books. We can also learn to use technology in order to access information that we get from books.
Because there are so many different technologies being developed, it is complicating and confusing the fact that it is the technologies that are difficult to learn, NOT the actual information.
All the theories of learning that are mentioned are already being used. The question is: How many different technologies are these developers expecting people to use? Whether we are teachers and or learners, there is a limit to how much technology we have time to learn to use. Learning is supposed to be pleasurable not about suffering.
Student empowerment is the strongest connective theme through the 55 posts and interviews I’ve conducted for this blog. The educators I’ve interviewed all have one characteristic in common: they all enable students to take more control over and responsibility for their own learning.
Absolutely agree, students who take responsibility for their learning do so much better when taking exams. In addition, when a student can teach you and put forward their own evaluative commentary, they are ready for university.
By: Maryellen Weimer, PhD in Teaching Professor Blog
"One of the best gifts teachers can give students are the experiences that open their eyes to themselves as learners. Most students don’t think much about how they learn. Mine used to struggle to write a paragraph describing the study approaches they planned to use in my communication courses. However, to be fair, I’m not sure I had a lot of insights about my learning when I was a student. Did you? As fall courses start to wind down, it’s an apt time for reflection. Here are some pithy (I hope) prompts that might motivate students to consider their beliefs about learning."
Questions such as the two below are very helpful in getting students to think about their own learning and to take responsibility rather than waiting for the teacher to always direct them: Say, for example, you don’t think you’re any good at math, or that you can’t write or draw, what happens when you have to do these things? Does what you believe about yourself as a learner have any effect on how you perform?Have you ever learned something you didn’t think you could learn? What? How did you feel once you had learned it?
I recently asked students to do work they had not been asked previously to do. The result was: all 13 students performed very well. They had to write and think in different ways. I asked them to write an essay in 25 minutes on a topic they had not previously studied.
The other topic was: to make sentences using homonyns. A homonyn is a word that is spelt the same or sounds the same as another word but is different in meaning, e.g. ate and eight; berry and bury; red and read.
Although the majority of the students were foreign and were learning English as a second language, they were able to complete the task exceptionally well. They were allowed to work in twos but none of them consulted a dictionary. All of them completed 10 sentences using homonyns such as: bore/boar; birth/berth; bald/bawled; pray/prey; principle/principal; missed/mist, etc ....without asking me the meanings.
What this demonstrates is that in the right environment / atmosphere a person will use their brain processes. What educators should always be doing is encouraging the intake of knowledge in a variety of contexts, situations: students should visit museums, banks to learn real mathematics; House of Parliament to question politicians, etc....
Something experts in all fields tend to do when they’re practicing is to operate outside of their comfort zone and study themselves failing. The best figure skaters in the world spend more of their practice time practicing jumps that they don’t land than lesser figure skaters do. The same is true of musicians. When most musicians sit down to practice, they play the parts of pieces that they’re good at. Of course they do: it’s fun to succeed. But expert musicians tend to focus on the parts that are hard, the parts they haven’t yet mastered. The way to get better at a skill is to force yourself to practice just beyond your limits.
"Our world is changing at an unprecedented pace. To prepare our students, lessons must go beyond the "3 R's" and foster 21st century skills. Skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity will be essential for students to take on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead."
All this is true so where do we start? Children do not start learning when they go to school. They start learning the moment their eyes open. Parents can help their children activate their brains and create fantastic neural networks. All children can encompass all the different styles of learning; Visual:; Auditory; Verbal; Kinaesthetic: -Using touch and taste to explore the information; Logical: a mathematical approach to concepts; Interpersonal -Learning in groups; Intrapersonal - Learning alone. Try some of the early learning from home school resources.
Whether we're talking about preschool, elementary through secondary school, college, or even adult learners, I have serious objections to the idea that learning supposedly only comes via the eyes, the ears, and the seat of the pants. Schools -- and policymakers -- have for too long accepted the belief that learning best occurs while students are seated (and quiet, of course). The theory may have been understandable back when they didn't have the research to prove otherwise. But today we do.
If you observe crawling babies, youngsters, pre-school children you will notice how they learn by movement, touch, smell, taste. They very rarely sit still - their brains are constantly on the move. Everything they do is repeated in different formats and they are rarely if ever quiet: They repeat what they hear even though it may not make sense to older children or adults. They are increasing their neuronal networks.
One way to help youngsters learn which means increase their brains is to give them a variety of tools, toys and watch what they do. Parents can also guide their children to use objects in a variety of ways......
"Even more than other types of education, eLearning must struggle to attract learners' attention: the Internet is full of distractions, and adult learners are both busier and more free to indulge in distractions. Helping students to pay attention is a primary concern of training professionals, so here are some optimal methods to win the attention game in eLearning."
"Pearson sent us this report recently–Exploring the Learning Curve. The big idea here is the changing skill needs for students globally. It is based on this idea of an index–a Global Index of Cognitive Skills and Education Attainment. The report explains: 'The Global Index of Cognitive Skills and Educational Attainment compares the performance of 39 countries and one region (Hong Kong) on two categories of education: Cognitive Skills and Educational Attainment. The Index provides a snapshot of the relative performance of countries based on their education outputs.'”
These would seem to correlate with Thomas Friedman's "The world is flat" idea. Basically we need to value and respect all human beings as those people at the bottom of the tree last century wont always be there:
Emotional intelligence (feel things from others point of view). Communication (learn to speak another person's language). Problem-solving (Listen to and understand someone else's pain and joy); Team-working (the ability to liaise with others as humans who feel pain, cry, hurt just as you do).
Basically the emphasis seems to be on humanity as one rather group rather than the superficial differences. The idea is for human beings to leave the savannah.
Did you know writing affects your brain in a way similar to meditation? When you write, your breathing slows and you enter a "zone," which allows your words to flow more freely, an infographic from BestInfographics.co says.
The infographic illustrates how writing affects the brain, and shares other interesting facts, like why stories are so memorable and clichés are not. Here are a few takeaways:...
You activate many areas of your brain when you tell a story. There are so many areas in education where students can use stories to remember details of information needed for writing exam answers. Stories are visual, can be auditory; you can introduce smells and engage with whatever you are writing about.
The whole brain becomes stimulated with a person's own record of the information. How can you forget?
"An annual report by The Open University said the current key challenge for education specialists is to engage thousands of learners in productive discussions while learning in a collaborative, online environment."
This means that learning online will open up the skype network. People will see each other and exchange views in real time. Learning materials can be easily downloaded. If people from all parts of the country and world are able interact surely this will lead to less prejudice and stereotyping and an understanding of each other as human beings.
Carol Ann Tomlinson, author of “The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners,” is the country’s preeminent scholar on differentiated instruction. Tomlinson defines differentiated learning as “ensuring that what a student learns, how he/she learns it, and how the student demonstrates what he/she has learned is a match for that student’s readiness level, interests, and preferred mode of learning.” She likens the reluctance to integrate modern knowledge of the learning process into the classroom to settling for a Model T instead of embracing 21st-century engineering.
Differentiation works when students take responsibility for their own learning. Students in particular those doing A levels are given booklets, notes, presentations and textbooks with lesson plans and schemes of work. When a teacher walks into the classroom students should not be sitting waiting for the teacher to tell them what to do. They should already be engaged in looking over their own notes and ready to ask the teacher questions about aspects of the course that they are not certain of. Or ready to ask where they can get more information.
Most students have I-pads, mobile phones that can access the whole web. They can look for information on youtube for most subjects which can add to their learning. Differentiation has never been easier. The teacher's job is to give out the resources, point students to where to find information, give overviews of the lessons based on the syllabus, which he students also have. During class, time should be spent understanding the information, discussions, showing how to answer exam questions, followed by essays. This is 21st Century learning and it works!
Experiences aids continuous learning for everyone. Starting children from an early age is key to skill acquisition.
Reading one aspect of a subject is not enough. By the time young people reach the age of A levels they should be well equipped with knowledge of how to acquire information - not just from what is written on a powerpoint, blackboard or whiteboard, but from their own research.: e.g. Youtube, searching the web, chapters in books and so many other ways......
Have a look at different websites which point the way. Two examples:
Basically you need to calm down, close your eyes, take deep breaths and practice mind control by meditating. Just see some beautiful ,mountains, skies or any natural part of the environment and just enjoy.........
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