As I began to understand what this course, Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction and Technology entailed, I also began to investigate as well as express which theory I lean toward or used the most.
The more I reflect on my own personal learning theory, the more I realize that I continue to evolve and grow and do not prefer to be boxed into labeling my beliefs and teaching styles. With this said, I found that I adhere to mainly the constructivist and cognitivist theories with a little mixing of behaviorist. Bruner stated that learning is “an active process in which learners build new ideas or concepts based on their current/past knowledge” (Duffy and McDonald, (2008). Piaget “suggest that the adult’s role in helping the child learn was to provide appropriate materials for the child to interact and construct” (http://www.child-development-guide.com/child-development-theorists.html#theorists1). I believe that each child possess different learning styles and strengths in which I try to incorporate all modalities of learning in order to reach all of my students at any given time. I am a very intuitive teacher and also believe that most students learn best by actually experiencing things through touching, building, creating, and owning. I have always believed this meaning this portion of my personal learning theory has not changed upon the completion of this course. However, what has resulted from this course is the awareness of how to better implement technology using these theories.
Through this course, I have been enlightened to technology terms and tools that I have not heard before. One such tool that I have continued to use since being introduced via this course is VoiceThreads along with Concept Mapping. I have already utilized VoiceThreads in teaching concepts for reading such as main idea, cause and effect, and fact and opinion. This next week, I will take the next step and place my students in cooperative groups in order for each group to create their own VoiceThread. The second tool I have explored is Concept Mapping. In fact, the concept map I created for this course has been referred to on many different occasions in my class for reading, social studies, and science. I look forward in continuing to use concept mapping more easily as well as extending this technology tool for my students to create their own.
My first long-term goal is to keep abreast of current trends and applications in technology. There were many things we did throughout this course in which I had not heard of before. This first goal can be obtained by seeking more professional development classes, which focus on technology, as well as completing my masters through Walden University. My second goal is to add new technology tools to my lessons. As I begin to incorporate more technological tools, I want to ensure I am utilizing them correctly in addition to really benefiting my students and my lessons. Instructional time is limited and valuable. I want my students to be able to take these tools and use them with me being a facilitator. As I think of the technology and tools that exist now, I wonder of the advancements that will happen by the time my students and own children reach their college years.
The only consistent and steadfast element of technology is that it is changing on a daily basis; how we communicate, share ideas, make presentations, and even work in collaborative groups. It is a never-ending process. I hope to expose my students and even myself to different ways of incorporating technology as much as possible. This class has really opened my eyes to a lot of possibilities of using these tools as both instructional and learning.
Child Development Theorists...Major Theorist of Child Development. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2010, from Child Development Guide http://www.child-development-guide.com/child-development-theorists.html#theorists1
Lever-Duffy, J. & McDonald, J. (2008). Theoretical Foundations (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.