Sunday, September 2, 2012

EDLD 53640Teaching with Technology Week 1 Reflection on Videos & Readings

What a week this was.  First I was not registered in any courses (for some reason).  I got that problem fixed and then Hurricane Isaac decided to make a beeline to my state (and town).  Thank goodness we didn’t sustain any damage--just no power, internet, or TV for a couple of days.

Videos:  The videos were very information.  Dr. Mason and Professor Borel did an awesome job with what is expected in the course.  The videos explaining the three learning theories:  Constructivism, Connectivism, and Cyborg were very informative as to what the theories were.  They gave me idea of what each theory entails and I carried that over to this week’s readings. 
Readings: We had six readings (two book excerpts and four articles) to do this week:
Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school (Expanded edition). Ch. 9, pp. 194-218. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Retrieved from
McPheeters, D. (2009, March). Social networking technologies in education. Tech and Learning, 29(8).Retrieved from
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Introduction, 1 – 14.
Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0: New tools, new schools. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education, 7-44.
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, (1999). Learning as a personal event: A brief introduction to constructivism. Retrieved from
Sprague, D. & Dede, C. (1999). If I teach this way, Am I doing my job: Constructivism in the classroom. Leading and Learning, 27(1). Retrieved from the International Society for Technology in Education at
Unfortunately, I don’t have one of my books yet to do my readings from.  It is on order and should be here next week (if nothing else gets in the way).
The readings covered the theories introduced in the videos (constructivism, connectivism, and cyborg). 
In Constructivism, “students learn by taking in information from the world and constructing their own meaning from the experience as opposed to someone telling them bits of information.”  (Sprague & Dede, 1999)  Teachers take the student from where they are and expand on it.  The teacher becomes a facilitator to learning allowing the students to “think about what they already know about a topic, search for new information, and collaborate with others to solve realistic problems and derive new understanding.”  (Solomon & Schrum, 2007, p. 38)  In my opinion this is the ideal classroom for students.  They are more actively involved in their learning through this method.  “They are sharing ideas, asking questions, discussing concepts, and revising their ideas and misconceptions.”  (Sprague & Dede, 1999)
Connectivism is where learners make connections, both from within and with others.  In Web 2.0:  New Tools, New Schools, the authors’ share that “George Simmons’ (2004) theory of connectivism is an approach to learning that also considers technology as a key factor.”  (Solomon & Schrum, 2007, p. 40)  Knowledge is rapidly changing and the learners are willing to change with it in order to continually learn.  Interactivity between students is a big part of this theory.  By using real world activities in the classrooms, students are able to connect with others (peers and professionals) in order to learn.  “Working with practitioners and distant peers on projects with meaning beyond the school classroom is a great motivator for K-12 students.”  (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000)
The Cyborg Learning Theory is “the hybrid of cybernetic organisms containing elements of both the human and the machine.  Cyborgs do not view technology as other or separate from human but rather see technological advance on par with human evolution; both, one and the same.” (McPheeters, 2009)  By utilizing this theory we would be allowing “education to focus on preparing a generation to adapt to the unavoidable rapidity of changes they will face.” (McPheeters, 2009)  I was a bit freaked out about this theory after watching the video on it.  Implanting chips into humans just to “upgrade” them does not sound like something I want to be a part of.  I do understand the medical aspect of this for those you have lost something (ex. hand, vision, etc.).   By employing this into that aspect would benefit lots of people who were impaired through no fault of their own.

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