Learning, Ed Tech and Learning Theory

What are your beliefs about how people learn best?

I believe people learn best by what comes naturally to them; for example, I am a visual and kinesthetic learner, so I learn best by watching and doing something.  I believe that allowing the learner’s natural learning instincts to kick in will help the learner obtain knowledge in a more understanding, organized manner and the learner will retain the new knowledge for a longer period of time.  I also believe this will speed up the learning process because the learner is not hindered by learning an awkward, unnatural learning method.  Hwang, Sung, Hung, Huang & Tsai (2012) report that individual learning styles are personality traits of the student learning and how the student likes to learn, which improves learning (p. 626).  The authors argue delivery of personalized learning is one of the educational systems most essential facets to offer learners.

Here is a link to a blog regarding how students learn. 

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/03/5-tools-to-help-students-learn-how-to-learn/

What is the purpose of learning theory in educational technology? 

Driscoll (2005) defines learning theory as a “set of laws or principles about learning” or ideas that link noticeable differences in actions or behaviors from the object that changed the behavior or action (p. 2, 9).  Using Driscoll’s definition of theory and applying it to educational technology I believe the purpose of learning theory in educational technology is to gather information and knowledge that will lead to understanding how students’ learning improves while using technology. 

Check out this video I found on YouTube, titled “Technology in Education” by Paul Hamilton (2012).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXyCECMxhOs

 

References:

Driscoll, M. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction. (3rd ed.)  Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Hamilton, P. (2012). Technology in education. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXyCECMxhOs

Hwang, G., Sung, H., Hung, C., Huang, I., & Tsai, C. (2012). Development of a personalized educational computer game based on students’ learning styles. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 60(4), 623-638. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11423-012-9241-x

10 thoughts on “Learning, Ed Tech and Learning Theory

  1. Thank you for sharing the scholarly article. These researchers share my interest in cultural influence on learning outcomes. This journal is one that I will follow. The theme I keep running into may be as old as education itself, engagement for a diverse group. The more I sift through the journals the more I believe that technology, like any tool, is a double edged sword. It can be used to enhance or hinder outcomes. Have you experienced this as you work in the field too?

    • Hi Shelly,
      I think technology in education is a wonderful tool, but as with any tool, it has to be implemented properly to ensure the best learning outcomes are achieved. Furthermore, there are always the students who stray from the implementation or do not understand it completely that can hinder their learning, for example, the instructor provides detailed instruction on how to use a computer in their math class, but because the student is familiar with the use of a computer, they do not follow the implementation instructions properly, which leads to the student not knowing how to use the tool correctly and are unable to understand how to accomplish the math problems. Most tools are user friendly, but sometimes skipping a step or overlooking a necessary action with the tool can become a hindrance. However, for the most part these hindrances can be overcome with a little patience on both the learner and educators’ part.
      Sarah

      • Hi Sarah,
        Sorry for the delayed response. Thank you for your comment and your insights. I agree. The human connection is the key to successful implementation of any new tool.
        Warm Regards,
        Shelly

  2. Hi Sarah,

    Your post was engaging! When I read that you are visual and kinesthetic, I realized that I may have students who were visual and kinesthetic in some of my math classes. What do you advise me to do with these students? Do you believe computers and the internet can help them comprehend better the material we cover in the class? If one of my students fails the course, I fail with them. According to Siemens (2008), “The internet has caused a power of shift in classrooms, as learners now have greater access information, experts, and peer learners” (p. 19).

    Thanks,
    Konstadinos

    Reference

    Siemens, G. (2008, January 27). Learning and knowing in networks: Changing roles for educators and designers. Paper presented to ITFORUM. Retrieved from http://itforum.coe.uga.edu/Paper105/Siemens.pdf

    • Hi Konstadinos,
      I would encourage your students to use their natural learning abilities, for example, my daughter is also a visual/kinesthetic learner, so during math class her teacher allows students who are visual/kinesthetic learners to use the classroom’s Smartboard to practice their math problems, which satisfies their natural learning needs. One thing to do is evaluate your students learning styles (if time permits), then try to implement the tools to accommodate their styles.
      I believe that implementing a computer and the Internet into your math class would be a great idea, but you must implement it properly. There are several websites resources available that will help students with their math, but you should evaluate the sites to ensure it is teaching math according to the math curriculum that you are using. A website that my daughter is currently using in her math class is offered by Kahn Academy at http://www.khanacademy.org/ and it is a free website, but important thing to remember is ensuring the math being taught on any website is that it meets the standards prescribe by your school district.

      Sarah

      • LAPSE   Parent Post

        Hi Sarah and Shelly. ll. I created a blog, feedreader, subscribed to your  blogs, then posted to my blog on Wednesday about midday. I just went to the site to respond to each of your post and my post wasn’t there. In fact it read “nothing found, ready to publish your first post.”  I have to try and figure out what I did wrong and re-post. These are the steps I took:

        When I finished typing my response to Module 1 Assignment which I typed in Word, I copied and pasted it to my blog at eshread@wordpress. com. Then, I added the links to two websites, then hit publish. I don’t know what happened.  I’m open to any advice or suggestions. I the meantime, be patient with me as I try and determine what went wrong. 

        Thanks, Linette

        Linette Johnson Rasheed EDUC 8843-1 PhD of Education Educational Technology alternative email address: l_rasheed@yahoo.com cell phone (225) 614-4788 Central Time Zone Student ID: A00355482                                                           

        Original E-mail

      • Hi Sarah:
        Your post was loaded with information. I especially found the article on how students learn of interest. In fact, I used MindShift as a link in my post. Schwartz (2013) quote that “we want students thinking about their thinking” is precisely how we as educators will be able to promote and foster life-long skills in learners. I’m not familiar with inquiry learner, but it has my attention, not only for the added benefits from subject to subject, but also for its place in the digital age as students learn how to learn.
        I concentrated my blog to metaphors for educators in the digital age,but I also believe
        that as we determine what role or roles we must play in the classroom, we should delve into inquiry learning, particularly because it is grounded in “an integrated approach that includes kinds of learning: content, literacy, information literacy, learning how to learn, and social or collaborative skills” (Schwartz, 2013, p. 1). As students think about the choices they make while they are learning, as well as what they learn, their observable behavior enables us as educators to secure our role in that process.
        I hope to learn more about inquiry learning, Linette

      • Hi Sarah,

        I want to thank you for your advice about using the classroom’s Smartboard for any of my students who is visual and kinesthetic learner to practice math problems. The college where I teach has three classrooms which have Smartboards. I will try to get a permission to use one of these classrooms. In addition, I want to thank you for the resource you sent me about math for my classes. I will try to spend time to explore Hahn Academy at http://www.khanacademy.org/.

        Thanks,
        Konstadinos

  3. Hello Sarah,
    Do you find yourself struggling to work/teach people who are not visual/kinesthetic like yourself? Smart board activities are useful. I use it on a regular basis. I find that the smart board has become the most used tool. Do you feel that it is overused?
    Kelly

    • Hi Kelly,
      Sometimes it is hard to teach learners who are not visual/kinesthetic, but I try hard to adapt and adjust quickly, especially when I was working as a sub in elementary school. The younger the child the faster I had to learn to adjust because their attention span just isn’t like an high school student or adult. I love the Smartboard, and at my daughter’s school it isn’t available in all the classrooms because she goes to a private school and the funding for technology in every classroom isn’t available, so in her school it is a treasured technology tool, but I’m sure there is some overuse at times in many schools.

      Sarah

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