This week’s assignment we were asked to develop a mind map that illustrates network connections of learning. It is important to think about how your networks provide information and support, and how different people and technologies help in learning. After posting the mind map, we were asked to reflect on how the connections facilitate learning by answering the following questions:
How has your network changed in the way you learn? Looking at my mind map, it is so clear that the majority of information resources are made available with technology. I am still young enough to remember how research and information gathering involved very little technology. It would involve attending classes and looking up topics in a card catalog (not the digital kind.) Not only has technology given me the gift of unlimited access to unlimited topics, I can access that information any time of day in any location. The speed of research has increased exponentially.
Which digital tools best facility learning for you? I utilize so many learning networks it is hard to pick just one. I think it would have to be the internet in general. Keeping in mind it requires data validation and information gathering should only be done with trusted sources.
How do you gain new knowledge when you have questions? It depends on the topic. For class work, my first sources of contact are the students and instructor involved in the current class I am taking. For other topics I generally start with Google and enter a search term related to the topic.
In what ways does your personal learning network support or refute the central tenets of connectivism? The way technology is developed and is stored, it is a good example of connectivism. Taking a topic you need to research and making that topic the central metaphor, you can type information into the search area of study and be presented with many nodes containing information pertaining to the topic. Most research websites will contain other connections to more data of the same topic and in a way are the very description of connectivism nodes and connections.
Foley, G. (Ed.). (2004). Dimensions of adult learning: Adult education and training in a global era. McGraw-Hill Education
Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Adult_Learning