Sunday, November 29, 2015

Reflections on Connectivism

My network has greatly influenced the way I learn. I find myself learning from people and gadgets in my life where I never thought possible before. When I began my undergraduate degree I barely knew how to operate a computer. Ten years later I am glued to my iPhone and Kindle Fire on a daily basis for information. My son teaches me everyday about patience, persistence, and that the concept of learning does not have to fit a cookie cutter mold.
My Google Chromebook, Kindle Fire, and iPhone are the three essential gadgets I use on a daily basis. They are my connection to the outside world and a vast sea of knowledge. My Kindle Fire holds my electronic books from Amazon. As a Prime member I can borrow books, access documentaries, or search the internet. I feel lost without my iPhone. It provides immediate access to information. In less than a minute I can access information and data from around the world.
Whenever I have questions I usually Google them on my computer. I look over information from several credible sources and form my opinion. Sometimes I will look for answers on YouTube. Surprisingly, there are tons of videos on YouTube about many different topics. Lately, majority of my questions are being answered from reading blogs. Thanks to my RSS subscription with Feedly I get access to all of my blog subscriptions in one place. I am learning from top individuals in my field about instruction design and how to become a successful blogger.  A world of information has opened up to me that I was not aware of before.

My personal network supports and aligns well with the principles of connectivism. I access learning and knowledge from a network of diverse opinions. Much of my learning resides in nonhuman devices. I access information I need on a daily basis through my computer, iPod, and Kindle Fire. I make it a point to nurture and maintain connections with everyone and everything in my network. Whether that is keeping all of my devices clean and fully charged or constantly calling or texting friends and family every other day, I try my best to show that I value those who are my sources for knowledge and inspiration.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Helpful Resources for the Brain and Problem Solving

If you are interested in learning more about the brain and learning, I highly recommend the Center for Parent Information and Resources website. This site offers a wide range of information on the brain and learning topics with links to other reputable websites and blogs. Parents and teachers can access information on brain research and disability, applying brain research to education, what learning does to your brain, and the ABCs of the brain. It serves as a central hub for a variety of brain topics and is perfect for accessing brain and learning information from sites that have already been categorized.

Do not let the name of this next website fool you. It offers a plethora of problem solving strategies. Here you will find templates, a thorough definition of the decision making process, the pros and cons of decision making methods, and step by step instructions on how to cater the templates to your decision making needs. I was particularly drawn to this site because of the free SWOT analysis templates and examples. I use SWOT analysis in my Health Education field to assess the strength of companies and organizations. If you are looking for more information on analysis templates then this is a great place to start.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Helpful Instructional Design Blogs

I am new to the instructional design community. I thought it would be helpful to provide information on three instructional design blogs I found helpful. Each blog’s creator has been in the instructional design field for some time. The authors are eager to share their knowledge and experience and network within the field.
Experience E-Learning is authored by Christy Tucker. This blog is very helpful in that it provides blogs about E-learning and Instructional Design. Readers can find posts with links to other instructional design blogs. Tucker explains her experience and steps taken to research and connect with other instructional designers. This is a great blog to reference if you are looking for a central location of instructional design blogs to begin your research
Design for Learning is a blog about the adventures in instructional design experienced by the author, Natalie Ladera-Kilkenny. This blog features information about education and technology from a comical perspective. Ladera-Kilkenny offers ideas and images for use when designing education content. This blog offers useful images to help explain the learning process. It is also a good source for acquiring instruction ideas. I imagine using this blog site as a source of support and information.

In the Middle of the Curve is an excellent blog if you are looking for a source of support and understanding in the instructional design field. Author Wendy Wickham describes stories of her experiences developing and delivering training. I appreciate how Wickham tells stories about her experiences to give her audience a view of her thought processes and how she works through challenging problems. I highly recommend this sight for anyone who is new to the instructional design field and wanting an inside scoop of what challenges designers experience and how best to overcome them.