This week three different learning theories were introduced. From reading the different articles and watching the videos my motivation and belief that technology needs to be integrated more into the 21st century is validated. The readings and videos opened my eyes to how I need to be aware of the different theories as I work with a variety of teachers and students as a library media specialist.
The three learning theories discussed this week were constructivism, connectivism and cyborg. Constructivism is based on the belief that learners construct meaning themselves building on previous knowledge. The teacher uses real world context for instruction. The ideas and interests of the learners drive this type of learning process. Technology in this theory allows students to work at their own pace and become actively engaged. Connectivism is founded on learners making relevant connections to facilitate learning. With connectivism knowing where to find the knowledge becomes as important as knowing what and how as well as when it is needed. In connectivism nurturing connections and facilitating connections allow continual learning. The Cyborg learning theory presented by Kevin Warwick involved using an implanted computer chip in humans to enhance or upgrade their mental abilities. I found this bizarre and science fictionish. Learners with these implants would have amplified memory, senses and mental abilities.
In the book Web 2.0: new tools, new schools by Gwen Solomon and Lynn Schrum (2007), “Today’s students know that they are tech savvy and report that their schools are not.” (p.31). The implications of this quote have been a concern of mine for the last few years. This quote is repeated in similar words across various texts. I fear schools are not staying on cutting edge technology. By the time the technology department and administrators decide on “appropriate use” of a new program or device4 it has lost its cutting edge and is old to the students. Teachers are also resistant. However, we must allow students to sometimes teach us and guide us in technology as we guide them in the learning of subject matter.
There has been much to digest and reflect on this week. I am looking forward to working with my group and learning new ways to bring technology into student learning. The 21st century classroom must prepare students by using technology in a collaborative environment.
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 1999). Learning as a personal event: A brief introduction to constructivism. Retrieved on October 4, 2009 from http://www.sedl.org/pubs/tec26/intro2c.html
Solomon, G. & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0: new tools, new schools. International Society for Technology in Education.