Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

This week I was introduced to a new technology tool called VoiceThread.  At first, I was a bit skeptical at just how useful this resource would be to me and to my students.  I thought perhaps it would be too complicated and students would be more discouraged than excited.  However, after watching the tutorial and putting together a brief introduction lesson for my students and colleagues to view, I feel more confident in its use and potential.

When using networking tools such as Facebook, Google Docs, and others, we begin to see the value of connectivisim.  People sharing information via the internet to learn about something or watch as something is being created can happen instantly.  Those in the network can get started right away applying this knowledge for problem solving and project building on their own that represents a real world experience.  The application of knowledge is important as one would want to move from situated cognition to actually constructing an artifact that would show understanding as well as articulation.  Using VoiceThread in the classroom will provide students with an opportunity to share information in a manner that is in keeping with network tools they are familiar with but can now be used to complete school assignments. 

Collaboration and cooperative learning are essential for social learning.  Students learn from each other as they begin to build their project or solve a problem.  Peer to peer interaction gives students and opportunity to not only learn but to teach others.   This “teacher” will be helping others while continuing to deepen their own understanding of the content.  The knowledgeable other(s) immerges to guide group members of different levels of understanding toward the final artifact.   The social dimension of connectivisim provides a more rich learning experience as knowledge is more abundant and easily transferred over numerous networks or people and data.

Although, high school students do not always like to work together, I think that when we, as teachers, plan with connectivisim in mind, students will take responsibility for teaching and learning within their group.  They are more likely to embrace the use of technology and construct an artifact that they would be proud to share with others through over several networks of people. 

My first VoiceThread:  http://voicethread.com/share/2905123/

Comments are welcome!

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010). Social Learning Theories [Video webcast]. Retrieved from http://sylvan.live.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=6489406&Survey=1&47=9645911&ClientNodeID=984650&coursenav=1&bhcp=1

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010). Connectivism as a Learning Theory [Video webcast]. Retrieved from http://sylvan.live.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=6489406&Survey=1&47=9645911&ClientNodeID=984650&coursenav=1&bhcp=1

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010). Constructionist and Constructivist Learning Theories [Video webcast]. Retrieved from http://sylvan.live.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=6489406&Survey=1&47=9645911&ClientNodeID=984650&coursenav=1&bhcp=1

 

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4 thoughts on “Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

  1. Tabatha-
    First off, your voice thread was full of information. You pulled a lot of rich information to put on it. What will you do with the voice thread? Does it lead into something the students will have to do or is it strictly and introduction to your lesson? It would be neat if in small groups they took a diet and researched it and then made a voice thread sharing what they learned.
    Your blog was well-stated also. I agree that with technology social learning and connectivism can happen anytime and anywhere. When I give my students a chance to teach each other, they love it. They love sharing what they know or how they solved something. Sometimes their way of solving something makes more sense to a classmate then the way I presented it. Also, when they have to explain what they did or what they know it makes them understand it better also.
    I definitely need to use these strategies more often in my classroom.

    Renee Scott

  2. You’re Voice Thread was fantastic! It provided lots of essential information that students need, especially when our country is facing an obesity epidemic. I think that you are correct when you discuss the idea of students not necessarily working together, but taking on the role of the teacher. How do your students respond when working together? Have you used your Voice Thread in class?

  3. Tabatha, I totally agree with your blog and your views. I was hesitant for a few brief moments, which seems to be the pattern when I’m introduced to new programs and websites, then I was intrigued and hooked. I am very curious to see the amount of participation from the students in an online environment as opposed to their contributions in the classroom. I believe that they will find the Voice Thread environment less judgemental than in the real-world classroom, face to face. Not only that, but I would be surprized if students were not excited about their participation. Voice Thread is such an easy method for the teacher to check students’ accountability for assignments as well. You either contribute, or you don’t. You could even start making requirements as to what type of reply they are permitted, like a word document or video file.

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