Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Educational Technology Course Reflection

There is an undoubtedly huge growth in my learning, having completed the Educational Technology Course at Marlboro College of Graduated and Professional Studies. My learning style is clearer to me than ever before. I am more aware of my own biases about learning and learners in general. Knowing these assumptions about the other's mind is critical because it plays into my instructional style and design. Openness is key to helping my students as we journey together towards acquiring knowledge.

Our dive into the big 4 learning theories helped to widen my understanding of how people learn. Here is a brief overview and the one I gravitate towards:

Behaviorism is concerned with observable behaviors, as opposed to internal events like thinking and emotion. Observable (i.e. external) behavior can be objectively and scientifically measured. Internal events, such as thinking should be explained through behavioral terms.
Cognitivism focuses on how information is received, organized, stored and retrieved by the mind. Learning is not about what the learners do but what they know and how they acquire knowledge.
Constructivism equates learning with creating meaning from experience. Learning takes place when there is an interaction between the learner's experience and their idea or concept, we learn by doing.
Connectivism recognizes how technology has changed the process of teaching and learning. The focus is guiding learners on how to find the information for themselves.
I gravitate to constructivist theory and this is evident in my mini~course. It is designed to support knowledge construction and engage learners in the actual use of Google sites in real world situation.

My instructional design model is based on situated learning where learners become involved in a "community of practice" which embodies the behavior to be acquired. As my learners move from the periphery of creating Google sites to the core of mastering its use, they become more active and engaged and hence assume the role of experts in Google sites.

The assessment I incorporated is performance-based which consists of samples of learner's work on Google sites, It recognizes that the best test is to support the needs of learners which, in my case, is proficiency in Google sites. My mini~course promotes exploration rather than just "getting the right answer". Learners create their sites and customize it in any way, shape or form that best suits their imagination and creativity.

Using Bloom's Digital Taxonomy, I can measure the impact and levels of learning my use of technology tools will have on my learners. Tools like YouTube and Google Apps assist them to remember, understand, apply, analyse, evaluate and create a usable classroom website.

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