I know the past week concentrated on the history of technology, but after reading some of the literature and listening to a podcast, I realized that I was learning about some learning theories. Connectvism, constructivism, to name a couple.
This is not the first time that I have read about these theories. These are the common learning theories associated with technology and learning. In simple terms, these theories make sense. In the digital age of information, we need to connect to people to expand our knowledge base. The amount of information readily available is staggering. It is unfathomable to think that will be able to access the amount of information on the web all by themselves. It is important that one create a network of colleagues, friends, etc. to gain knowledge. By connecting with people, we can then construct “pools” of knowledge in a variety of methods. Sounds simple and practical, but we seem to have a great amount of opposition to these learning methods.
Granted, education is still done in a very traditional manner overall. Their are many benefits, like predictability, low risk. Why change when you don’t need to? However, teachers and the web will provide a higher quality of education for children, more than ever.
Educators are reluctant to change and take on new ideas and practices. This is why it is difficult to implement new initiatives and ideas. It has taken us a long time to begin collaborating as teachers on a more consistent basis. Hence, the PLC movement. Granted there is resistance with this initiative, but people do see the value of the philosophy. Together, we can produce more and a higher quality of education.
I plan to implement a blog with my Law 30 course. Using a discussion forum, I would like to have my class share dialogue with other students from other school’s. Using this simple web technology, I can help students connect with different opinions, ideas and cultures on a continual basis. If we expect teachers to connect and network, why can’t students. After some time, other projects and initiatives can be designed to construct specific learning experiences. If given the proper framework, student’s too can construct pools of knowledge.