Week 5: Mapping My Learning Connections

Dalia's Mind Map

From my mind map that I just created, I realized that I am connected to many resources using various tools. The map is an effective tool to visualize my connections (Laureate Education Inc., 2009). Being part of bigger networks changed the way I learn. I am no longer a proactive learner waiting to know about information, rather, I am an active learner who seeks information and researches for answers. For example, I am currently learning from my online study network, I am gaining new knowledge and skills which I am now applying in projects in my other ‘professional work’ network. Thus, as I interact across the communities I am bringing meanings from one group to another (Foley, 20014), which enhances my learning experience.

In my comment on November 11, 2011 to Christy Tucker’ s blog about the ‘Top Ten Tools for Learning 2011” I listed 10 of the most useful tools that I used in 2011. I am now listing the three most useful learning tools for me:

So far I am finding Twitter a very useful tool to learn about many topics instantly. The reason is that I get a very short instant message from the various contributors that I chose to follow, and then I am able to do a quick scan and select the topics that I would like to learn more about, and read it carefully. In this blog post about “Twitter Goes to College,” the author lists different  twitter usage in education stating that the information could be overwhelming, so it depends on how the individual use twitter (Miners, 2010). Twitter was rated first of 100 digital tools for learning in 2011. The poll was created by Jane Hart, and she published the results through her blog, see the list of the 100 tools here.

Aggregators and RSS feed are very powerful tools; I personally use ‘Google Reader’. What I found helpful about this tool is that I could organize information by topic, categorize it, input notes and rename links in a way that is related to the area of interest that I need in my work, study and personal life. The tool is helpful in giving a glimpse of each post from different blogs with more details than Twitter.

Diigo is a bookmarking tool which I found very helpful in keeping my bookmarks organized and accessible from different computers. I created lists for my study and my work. I am still using one of its basic tools, the Diigolet button which I placed on my browsers’ toolbar. It helps me in my learning as it is an easy tool to bookmark the resources that I will be using through my study, and then directs me to the resources that I need for a certain topic according to the categories that I created. So I am able to find information faster and relevant to my search.

Furthermore, when I have questions, I check my aggregators and book marking tools for answers and then I just use Google Search for any information needed personally and professionally. I find also that the help toolbars in many software programs are very helpful in learning new software, as well as the online tutorials from sites like Lynda.com and You Tube. I signed up for an Adobe account which gave me access to many online tutorials and webinars about new software programs, also access to many educational resources in higher education. I found that searching for information helps in understanding and memorizing the information.

My personal network is based on the principles of connictivisim. Learning through my network could be classified as complex. There are many factors involved in my learning process; mainly, technology, the relations between the tools I am using, and the way I could retrieve and organize information; complexity is part of the connictivism principles as described by Siemens in the transcript about “Connectavism” (Laureate Education Inc., 2009; Davis, Edmunds & Kelly-Bateman, 2008). One of the principals of connectavisim is the need to maintain and nurture connections to facilitate continual learning (Davis et al, 2008); for me, this is an ongoing process. I try to maintain my participation in class and my connections to all resources which is needed for my study, work and personal life. I am part of a self-organized system that I created and chose to be part of which gave me the ability to differentiate between the important and unimportant information and I learn from my decisions (Davis et al, 2008).

________________________________________________________________________________________________

References:

Davis, C., Edmunds, E., & Kelly-Bateman, V. (2008). Connectivism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Connectivism

Foley, G. (Ed.). (2004). Dimensions of adult learning: Adult education and training in a global era. McGraw-Hill Education.

Laureate Education Inc. (2009). Connectivism. [Transcript]. Baltimore, MD: Siemens

Miners, Z. (2010, August 16). Twitter goes to college. [Blog message]. Retrieved from: http://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2010/08/16/twitter-goes-to-college-?PageNr=1

Advertisements

One Response to Week 5: Mapping My Learning Connections

  1. Pingback: Week 7: Fitting the Pieces Together « Dalia Hanna

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: