For Module 4 Reflection, you need to critically analyze the connections among emerging technologies, learning theories, and theories of educational technology. Use what you have learned to extend these linkages to your own classroom instruction.
During module 4 I have spent the time emerging myself in research. Because of the nature of the module, I have taken the time to reflect on specific elements of the connectivism learning theory and, furthermore, I have had the privilege to work with a class mate to co-author a paper on this particular learning theory.
Connectivism is an emerging theory. It was created out of the need to incorporate a learning theory that captured new learning and social technology such as wiki’s, blogs, facebook, youtube etc. The one thing strikes me the most about this learning theory is that it requires students to have the freedom to choose what tools they will use to learn. This factor gives students responsibility and accountability and furthermore connectivism takes learning out of the teacher’s hands and into the learner’s hands. This is a liberal way to approach education and while it may have been considered in the past, there is a definite shift in how education is delivered now and in the future. This is attributed to technology that allows limitless boundaries and effective tools in which to connect to information and like-minded people which help a learner to build on the knowledge.
So the question is this: Am I ready to whole heartedly adopt such a theory into my teaching style? While co-authoring the paper on connectivism, I realized that applying the theory into education is quite simple. As a teacher, I must ensure that students have adequate resources and the ability to connect to others. If students can connect to others, the freedom to choose how they learn, and allow students to bring in a diverse selection of readings and other media that assists them in building their knowledge then connectivism has been apparent. I question though how well connectivism works with other theories such as constructivism. I also question how well connectivism works with the absence of technology.
To conclude, this module has reinforced the importance of analyzing each theory in order to effectively consider what elements of the learning theory can be used in your personal teaching style or within your classroom. On the surface, each theory seems like it would not work in my teaching style; however, when I researched each elements, I saw different components that would work with my teaching style.