Learning to use blogs has been a great way for me getting to know other students enrolled in GDLT. I really appreciate all the support everyone gives each other and know I wouldn’t get through this course without it. Reading others thoughts/ideas etc, with regards to certain activities and readings, is a wonderful way to understand something I may be a little confused about. And it also helps to reinforce my thoughts with those topics I do grasp. Sharing knowledge through this form of technology is fantastic as it is so “now”.
Using blogs would be an excellent form of communication for students. It would be a great way for teachers to gauge students’ knowledge. For students needing extra help, the learning through blogs could be individualised catering for their needs. I hope parents would be accepting and encouraging of blogs as a tool for their child’s learning. By making homework blogs “fun” and interactive- questions, answers, using avatars and video links, students may actually enjoy doing school work outside of the classroom.
I have looked at “Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs” and found I fit into this with regards to ICTs. All the bottom needs are full-filled ie: Physiological, Safety, Belonging with my family and friends (and recently being involved with the GDLT discussion forums, which I was nervous about contributing to at first). These are all contributing to my self-esteem which is positive at the moment as I am learning and able to do the tasks listed in topic 4 of ICTs. Hopefully this will lead to self-actualization and I will become more creative as my confidence increases??? Kunc states “providing a person with a sense of belonging is pivotal for that person to excel” and I truly believes this applies to me. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs ties in with Marzano and Pickering's (1997)Dimensions of learning (1 and 5), whereby one needs to be positive with regards to their learning and environment (ie real life relevance) and using creative, critical and self-regulated thinking to become life long learners.
I have always been a visual and “hands-on” learner and this was shown with my “Learning Styles Result” from the Felder Website. The way this course is taught and by engaging with the various aspects- watching the videos, participating in the learning activities and creating a blog have been a good way for me to learn. Even talking to Scot at the Tutes about blogging, has reinforced the way I have grasped this topic. There are some questions I (and others ask) and he tells us he doesn’t know the answer but helps us to find it by working together. This is something I will remember for my own teaching as there are some things I will not know and why not discuss it with the students and look at ways to find the answer by using technology??? Another statement Scot has said to me is “have a go, you can’t break anything” and this has also given me the confidence to try different things. Being wrong isn’t always a negative aspect of learning but I find this hard to accept in relation to myself. However as a laboratory manager, I always informed staff of their errors/mistakes as I was a true believer in being able to learn from ones mistakes. Being made to actively participate in this course and take control of my learning has given me confidence and made me realise what an effective learning tool this is. I will try to adopt approach when teaching students.
The way I learn and my attitude to this course has changed in the last three weeks. At first I was quite stressed and concerned about all the ICTs I would be leaning. I really had no idea how I would cope but I feel I have risen to the challenge and embraced these new technologies. This may sound strange to some people but it is like things are starting to “click” in my brain. And as a result, I am very happy at the moment.
Technology has enabled me to gain a “social network” of friends. Everyone everywhere needs to move towards and engage in technology. It is critical I, and others, try to keep abreast of new technologies as best we can. I feel this will be difficult as a teacher as we will be engaging our students in class, preparing class, marking, involved in extra-curricular activities etc we will not have a lot of spare time to spend looking/searching for new technologies. We will not have much spare time to be at our desks, as we are for most of this course, exploring the internet and experimenting with new technologies. We can however, help each other by informing one another through emails, blogs etc of any useful technologies we may find. The best thing we can do is continue to communicate with one another regularly.
Digital technologies are used in all professions these days- email (most businesses), sending test results (ie, laboratory worker), receiving test results (ie, Doctors), looking up medicine doses (pharmacist). I feel to keep up with technology these days everyone has to be a life-long learner and this is something we need to incorporate into our teaching strategies to prepare students for their future.
Index of Learning Styles
Kunc, K. (1992) The Need to Belong: Rediscovering Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs.
Marzano, R. J., & Pickering, D. J (with Arredondo, D. E., Paynter, D. E., Blackburn, G. J., Brandt, R. S., Pollock, J. E., Moffett, C. A. & Whisler, J. S.) (1997) Dimensions of learning teacher's maunal (2nd edition) Alexandra, VA:ASCD.
Siemens, G. (2004) Connectivism: A learning Theory for the Digital Age. http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm