My Learning Connections Unmasked

This week I published my mind map, which focused on my connections that facilitate learning. It made me reflect on how much of my learning comes from online networks, digital tools, and digital applications. Sometimes, it makes me think how did people learn before. Obviously, I know there were different methods of learning that had nothing to do with the Internet, digital tools, or digital applications. However, it amazes me the amount of information available at our fingertips and the way that information network continues to grow.

It is great having a vast database of information available because when I have questions about a topic or problem I have somewhere to go to begin my search for answers. I begin with the Google search engine and move through my other resources until I find an answer that makes sense to me. I also utilize those in person to discuss questions I have. I am sure if we were to ask people how they researched new knowledge they would most likely state Google. After all many people have coined the term “Google it”. Regardless of our research method for online knowledge, we need to exercise caution with these types of online sources of information because not everything posted is true or validated by empirical data. We should be aware that sources like Google, Youtube, and blogs are great sources of information, but their resources may be opinions or trends and not facts based on data. Therefore, make sure to check your facts before believing the opinion of one site.

As you may have noticed by my learning connections or mind map, I am an avid user of the Internet and technology. I love utilizing various websites for social networking. My go to website in the past was AOL for instant messaging, then it was Yahoo messenger, and currently it’s Facebook messenger. I enjoy using Pinterest to examine new trends for hair color and discovering delicious new healthy recipes. Education wise my go to for math or science related problems is Khan Academy for how-to videos or YouTube. I also use programs such as: PowerPoint, Word, and Publisher for personal and educational purposes. When making my mind map, I noticed that I could have continued to make branches on it, but I thought what I had would get the point across for my learning connections. I am sure the same could be said for others that map out their learning connections.

Why share my mind map? My reason for this was to discuss the connection between my learning network and the learning theory of connectivism. Connectivism presents the idea regarding learning as a network of connections with a feedback loop of discussion, discovery, sharing, communication, and filtering (Connectivism, 2017). It also presents the idea of learning as an outside the learner experience and interaction with the network (Siemens, 2005). I believe my mind map supports the main ideals of connectivism. If I were just to observe the branch with Walden University (I have the branches separated), it is connected in many ways of resource, communication, sharing, etc. which would back the idea of connectivism. What are your thoughts?

References

Connectivism. (2017, January 31). ETEC 510. Retrieved February 6, 2019 from http://etec.ctlt.ubc.ca/510wiki/index.php?title=Connectivism&oldid=63629.

Siemens, G. (2005, January). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved from http://www.itdl.org/journal/jan_05/article01.htm

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