Archive for June, 2013

Fitting the Pieces Together

June 28, 2013 Leave a comment

I initially wrote my learning style reflected behaviorist, cognitive, and constructivist theories. I have a deeper understanding of each of the afore-mentioned theories, however, I don’t think my core styles have changed.

In fact I believe Bill Kerr (2007) supported my notion of subscribing to multiple theories when he said learning theories or “isms” evolve. They don’t stand still. Ideally, people grow and expand also.

Finally, I still believe learning objectives can help instructional designers determine the best applied theory to guide instruction.

I mentioned earlier that my understanding of learning theories and styles had grown over the past seven weeks. When it comes to my personal learning preferences, I must say I was surprised when realized I respond to connectivism and embraced adult learning theory. For example, I’m an introvert. I am reluctant to chat with peers in face-to-face environments. Yet, my education online is facilitated by technology and social networks. (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.) I’d like to share a true scenario of connectivist learning. My textbooks for another Walden course have not arrived. I reached out to the professor for advice. She said, I shouldn’t wait for the books to be delivered. Instead she suggested I contact other students in the lounge and ask them to copy the chapter and send it to me or better yet, we could read it together via Skype or Google Hang Out. Again, I want to emphasize the speed. Fed Ex can deliver my learning materials quickly, but today’s technology is even more agile and flexible. (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.)

As an adult learner, I appreciate activities that require us to share our actual experiences as they relate to instruction. (Conlan, Grabowski & Smith, 2008)

Concluding, I’d like to discuss technology’s impact on my overall learning. I mentioned technology above with regard to connectivism but the pace of this course and the amount of data we received forced me to embrace technology in new ways. (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.) I will outline two.

First, I’ve had to expand my personal knowledge of learning possibilities and technology tools. I had never heard of an “eBrary” and experienced the concept of borrowing books for eReaders prior to studying at Walden.

Second, I had one course application that allowed students to use a range of tools e.g. PowerPoint or Flash to create a product. I used the tools I knew, but the exercise of having to review the products of my peers exposed me even more. The process also expanded my zone of proximal developments – whereas I knew how to create a PowerPoint, but my more technically-savvy peers showed me how to put the PowerPoint on YouTube.

Works cited:

Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Kerr, B. (2007, January 1). _isms as filter, not blinker. [Blog]. Retrieved from

Siemens, G. (nd) Connectivism.” Laureate Inc. Baltimore, MD

Categories: Walden 6115


June 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Sheala Durant
EDUC 6115-1

Connectivism: Mapping Your Learning Connections

The theory of connectivism combines chaos theory, learning networks, and self organization. (Davis, Edmunds, Kelly-Bateman, 2008)

According to connectivist theorists such as George Siemens, Ph.D., learning resides in:

  • Acceptance of diverse opinions
  • Connection of specialized information sources
  • Use of electronic tools
  • Knowledge that learners have to capacity to know more that they are currently exposed to
  • Maintenance of connections for continued learning
  • Accuracy and currency of content and learning activities

Behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism were fine models for understanding how humans acquired knowledge and behaviors. However recent technological advances have forced learners to process and apply knowledge in new ways. This knowledge must be processed quickly and must be fluid. For example, the right answer today may change tomorrow based on the climate affecting decisions. (DEK, 2008)

George Siemens, PhD., in a resource video indicated technologies such as social media would fuel the acceptance of distance learning (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.)

I support his notion because today’s learner has practical experience with new tools, growing comfort with online discourse, and the ability to communicate with diverse global groups. (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.) We are able to learn via our connections. They represent a nexus of our prior knowledge and experience as well as our perception and reality. (DEK, 2008)

For example,

I rely on my social networks for acquiring new personal and professional skills. I also use these dialogue with new with subject matter experts.

These networks include e-newsletters such as IconLogic (, DC Web Women ( and eLearning Guild ( My network also supports topic-specific groups on Yahoo, GroupSites, Yammer, LinkedIn, and Facebook. For example, I belong to a Yahoo group on digital journalism, a GroupSite for local women entrepreneurs, a Yammer site for my workplace, several LinkedIn groups including industry and alumni affiliations, and a Facebook group or minority adoptees. I also rely on blogs for personal support examples include D.C. Thrifty Mom and A Parent in Silver Spring.

Each of these groups allows me to ask a specific question and receive answers and support from peers who may know more about the topic than I. This expands my zone of proximal development.

Finally, Siemens in a resource video, also mentioned the importance of visualization. It allows learners to see levels of connection and map concepts. I’ve inserted a “mind map” below that outlines my learning network.


Works cited:

Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Siemens, G. (2010). The Future of Distance Education. Laureate Education, Inc., Baltimore, MD

Siemens, G. (nd). Connectivism. Laureate Education, Inc., Baltimore, MD

Categories: Walden 6115