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Reflection

I loved the way this course started out with the functions of the brain and how they work and the difference between STM (short term memory) and LTM (long term memory). I have always found the brain to be one of the greatest mysteries which man will continue to study, probe, and dissect; only to never uncap what really makes it do what it does.

I better understand how information is stored in the brain and how it is processed. I found out that my STM is great, however; my LTM needed a little work and to do this I needed to change the way my brain “stored” information that I may need to retrieve at a later time by adjusting the way I “file” this information. This showed me that as an ID (instructional designer) I needed to be aware that everyone does not learn or retain information the same way. To teach effectively, you’ve got to know how students learn. And you’ve got know in particular how they think,  what’s going on in their heads  as they’re studying, as they’re reading, as they’re responding to questions, and so on. Because without knowing how they think through things, you’re not in a good position to help them think more effectively about the subject matter that you’re teaching.

A “learning style,” a learning theory, and a learning strategy are not the same. The term “learning styles’’ refers to the notion that according to what mode of study or instruction is most effective to the individual (s) there is a difference. On the other hand, a learning theory explains the underlying psychological processes that influence learning, and a learning strategy is a cognitive or behavioral activity used to improve learning (e.g.,  using mnemonic devices to remember new material, studying in a quite place). Felder and Silverman (1988) reported, “students preferentially take in and process information in different ways: by seeing and hearing, reflecting and acting, reasoning logically and intuitively, analyzing and visualization, steadily and in fits and starts.”

One thing which really stood out for me was how much technology is playing  a vital role in our learning communities and how important it is to integrate and introduce new technologies to students because it makes learning fun and easier for them to retain information.

One example mentioned in our learning resources was how video games play a huge role in teaching students and they do not realized that they are learning as they play games because the focus is on having fun. I have seen this happen with my 8 year old son (who loves video games) and how “involved” he becomes with the learning games his teacher assigns the class to “play” on one of the many interactive websites the school system has approved.

As an ID it is my hopes to continue to grow in this field and to design material that will be challenging and rewarding for those it is intended for. I believe this class has set the “foundation” for me as a future ID, and I am looking forward to the fun challenges I may encounter going forward.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Fitting the Pieces Together

I can remember growing up and watching some of my favorite shows on Saturday morning and this on particular commercial would come on by the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) which stated, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”. This statement has stuck with me for ALL these years and has been the driving force for me to ensure I learn all I can about everything possible and pass this motivation onto my kids.

Our study on the brain “sparked” me to think about that commercial because the brain (in my opinion) is one of the greatest mysteries ever created by God. The way it functions and store information then sends out signals throughout the body is nothing short of amazing.

Understanding how information is processed is important to the individual learner because everyone do not learn the same way; therefore information is not processed the same way. One thing I’ve learned is that I am a visual learner which became clearer when I began to learn about the cognitive theory. Instructional explanations, demonstrations, illustrative examples and matched non-examples make up the cognitive theory and explain my learning style. I tend to learn better when there is a visual aid to support the materials being taught. I did not realize that there were a good number of theories and learning styles, but once you understand the different styles and theories you have a better “feel” for how others learn and how they process information.

Technology has allowed us to take our learning to new levels and almost any place on this earth. With mobile devices, iPad, millions of apps, web sites, and much more; learning and getting information has never been this easy. Online learning has changed my life because it has made it possible for me to get a college degree around my busy work schedule and five children. Also bringing these technologies into the classroom has made teaching easier for teachers and learning really fun for students. I believe the day of the traditional classroom is quickly fading thanks to technology, and the world is yet to see more amazing advances to enter our learning communities.

As an ID this class has opened up a new way of thinking for me when developing and presenting information which will be used for instructional purposes. This class has been a great start foe what I believe to be a great occupation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Connectivism

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The Brain and Learning: Something to think about

Our teachers and administrators are constantly facing massive challenges to creatively teach and challenge our children in order to properly prepare them for the technological advance they will face in the near future. Although each child may have his/hers own way of learning, each child has the ability to learn when the teaching is effective, current, and creative.

The brain is a wonderful mystery, one which man has spent many years probing, dissecting, and inspecting just to know “what makes it tick.” Sylwester states, “The brain is powerfully shaped by genetics, development, and experience while actively shaping the nature of our experiences and culture in which we live” (1993, 1994). It amazes me how much power the brain has, from telling your mouth what to say to sending signals to your foot telling it when to step. The brain also tells us where to file information and how much information it will allow us to digest at a certain time.

Because everyone retain information differently, it is important for teachers to identify learning styles because this could be the difference between success and failure in our classrooms not to mention increasing a child’s confidence. This means using what ever strategy needed such as, more visual aids, stories, and metaphors. Teachers must assist students with understanding new information through research, current events, and blogging (to name a few) if this nation plans on raising a generation of leaders who learned by doing and understood what it took for them (personally) to retain information, explain what was learned, and demonstrate with confidence how to apply what was learned.

I found this article full of evidence on the brain and how it affects the way we learn, what we learn, and how we learn. It is my hope that on day teaches  and administrators will be rewarded GREATLY for the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to ensure our children receive the BEST education this nation has to offer.

Reference:

Sylwester, R. (December 1993/January 1994). What the biology of the brain tells us about learning. Educational Leadership, 51 (4), 2226.

Link: https://atoz-ebsco-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/Customization/Tab/12486?tabId=5906

Service Learning Stimulates the Brain

         Although this article was written in 2003, it focuses on an education strategy that combines specially designed community service project with the academic curriculum. The author enlightens the readers about how people learn on different levels due to brain mechanisms which helps people learn.

Elaine Johnson states that, “By contrast, service learning is a strategy that offers an effective pathway to academic success for all students, from kindergarten through university” (Oct 2003).

This method of learning can apply to all academic subjects such as English, math, science, health, and even business and challenges students to reach objectives by participating in projects that benefits others. This project requires commitment and promise from students who may be classified as “at risk” or those who are well adjusted.

Studies have shown that this style of learning has shown gains on achievement tests, completed homework assignments, and even raised their grades by a point or more. “The key reason for the success of this approach seems to be that it is compatible with the way the brain learns best” (Oct 2003). Service learning engages both body and mind by engaging external stimuli which send messages to various parts of the brain.

This learning strategy ignites an inner drive for the student to be successful in different areas. This keeps the student focused and their mind actively processing information and evoking a memory of the corresponding lesson. This creative way of teaching not only helps the student, but also helps those who can not help themselves.

Reference:

Johnson, Elaine B. The World and I. (Oct 2003): 146-153. Retrieved from: https://atoz-ebsco-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/Customization/Tab/12486?tabId=5906

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2012 in Uncategorized