Engagement Theory and Connectivism

Kearsley and Schneiderman suggest that learners need to be engaged in meaningful experiences that relate to ‘real-world’ contexts and provide opportunities for collaborative work (1999). This approach to learning aligns with many of my beliefs about teaching and learning. I believe that effective learning occurs when students are engaged in experiences which explicitly link to meaningful contexts. I also think that, when planned and implemented correctly, collaborative experiences can enhance learning outcomes. Brady (2006) suggests that students are involved in the transformation of ideas when “…learning is participative, proactive, collaborative and involves the construction of personal meanings rather than simply involving the teacher transmitting information” (p.14). The engagement framework acknowledges many fundamental components that facilitate effective learning.

I felt that Sieman’s article on ‘Connectivism’ made suggestions about learning which were relevant to contemporary society and the growing ‘knowledge economy’. Sieman’s suggests that “Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known” (2004). While connectivism presents many relevant ideas that may enable learners to stay current in a rapidly evolving world, I do not think that we should disregard all of the other theoretical perspectives on teaching and learning. Sieman’s seems to suggest that theories such as behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism are ‘out of date’ and no longer applicable in the modern world. However, I think that these theoretical perspectives still provide educators with valuable insights into teaching and learning and should underpin philosophy and practice.

While I appreciate the Sieman’s connectivist approach, I believe that educators can not simply disregard or ‘dump’ any theoretical perspectives as they provide a multi-faceted understanding of teaching and learning.

Shift Happens

Hello all,

Just a quick post. I haven't officially started looking at all of the technological approaches outlined in the course, however I wanted to post this video as I really thought it related to my first post about change, education and technology.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this video and what it means for educators.

Begining Managing E-Learning: Initial thoughts

Welcome to my journey through ‘Managing E-Learning’ and technology. As I begin reading through the Moodle activities I am feeling both overwhelmed and excited. The ‘Pay Attention’ video really stimulated my thinking with regards to technology and education. Technology has radically changed the way in which we live. Educators need to engage the ‘digital learners’ in their classrooms and provide learning experiences which are relevant to our rapidly changing world.

Learning managers need to meet students’ changing needs. The world now faces rapid change and technological advances. Learning environments need to be innovative, flexible, creative and inclusive to prepare students for a changing society. After reflecting all of the dramatic technological changes that the world has gone through, I can not help questioning whether modern classrooms are attuned to the changing nature of the world.

When I compare a classroom from the 18th century to a classroom from today I can see many similarities. Children are seated in desks looking at a blackboard or whiteboard. They spend most of the day writing and listening. The only difference that I can see in a typical modern classroom is the two computers, usually abandoned at the back of the classroom. It seems that schools are endlessly repeating the same processes in a world which is changing at an unprecedented rate.

To me, technology is exciting as it provides endless opportunities for education. While I may not easily reach an answer or solution to prepare children for our rapidly changing world, I hope that the ‘Managing E-Learning’ course may provide me with the tools to create innovative and relevant learning experiences.

Join me on a journey through technology, education and innovation.
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