How Do You Learn??

On Tuesday, November 25th Dr. Alec Couros @courosa was the last presenter for our Social Media #ECI831 class.  I thought it was quite fitting because he started us on this journey through networked learning and was the one to wrap up the discussion while leaving us with some questions to think about…

 This class has made me into a believer that networked learning can lead you into so many possibilities!  It allows us to continue to grow as learners and to grow professionally as well!


networked learning

Photo Credit: Picture taken from Alec’s slide

When Alec discussed with us to reflect on the process of learning I thought about many aspects of my years in education.  I thought about how I learned as a child, in middle years, and then in high school.  I also reminisced in how the classroom was set up, the projects that we did, and how I interacted with my peers.  The learning process continue to change in university for me depending on the classes that I was taking….My electives that I took were a lot different compared to my education class.  My education classes opened my eyes onto the different kinds of multiple intelligences and ways of learning.  I remember completing a coloured spectrum inventory in university during my third year.  It was very interesting to see what colours everyone had and comparing the results especially between the elementary, middle years, and high school pre-service teachers.  Here were my scores:

Primary Colour- Relationship Blue

Secondary Colour- Organized Yellow

Third Colour- Action Red

Fourth Colour- Conceptual Green

Many of the elementary teachers scored blue as their primary colour.  While middle years teachers scored red and secondary teachers scored green as their primary colour.  Have you ever taken one of those inventories before?  What colour would best represent you?

In my EC&I804 Curriculum Development class my professor had us at the beginning of the class complete a teaching and educational philosophy inventory.  We had to choose two of the inventories to complete and then share with everyone the results.  I really liked the inventories so I saved a copy of the ice breaker task on my computer so I would be able to go back to complete the inventories again.  I am curious to see if my results will change from more years of experience and taking more masters classes.  Here is a copy of the task that my professor gave us word for word:

  • Identifying Your Educational Philosophy: Development of the Philosophies Held by Instructors of Lifelong-learners (PHIL) by G.J. Conti an article precedes the actual philosophical instrument, which can be found on the last two pages of the article; it is probably best to print out these two pages and fold the pages according to instructions; then proceed to go through the PHIL instrument to determine your philosophy.
  • Authenticating Education (Dr. Robert Leahy): an inventory consisting of 36 questions with a 1-5 agree/disagree scale; select one radio button for each question and then press submit to obtain your inventory results.
  • Teaching Perspectives Inventory (Pratt & Collins): a 45-item inventory that provides a graphical and text-based interpretation based on the “Five Perspectives” book, by the same authors.
  • Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory (PAEI): a 15-item inventory that is quite thorough and provides the user with the tools to interpret responses; this PAEI is adapted from Zinn, L.M. (1990).

picture of miss stephanson

Photo Credit: This is a picture of me that was taken on our school picture day last year

For the Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) I scored the highest in nurturing followed by transmission and for the Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory (PAEI) I scored the highest in humanistic followed by behaviorist. I was not surprised by the results because I believe in forming positive relationships with my class so I can get to know each of my students to plan around their interests and build their self-confidence so each child can begin to take responsibility in his or her own learning. I also believe it is important for students to take an active role in their learning, but there also needs to be a balance so I see myself connecting to many of the other philosophies as well to differentiate and reach all of my student’s needs.

I think it is important to reflect on your philosophy! As I mentioned in my “I’m Digital Learning……and Now I Show It” post I wish I had my original copy of my philosophy of education.  I am curious to be able to compare them together.  I believe it is vital as an educator to keep revisiting our philosophy of education and learning.  Everyone is unique just like how our learning and teaching styles are different from student to teacher.   But, as mentioned in a picture and question that Alec posted on the presentation we can not limit our students.  We need to sometimes stop and think outside of our boxes and try to teach in a different way to provide our students the chance to learn in a way that meets their needs. (This quote from Alec’s presentation stuck out in my mind as well Jessica.)

dont limit child

Photo Credit: Picture taken from Alec’s slide

I am so happy that education is starting to catch up and teachers are beginning to change their thinking and are transforming to the 21st century way of learning and teaching.  More and more classrooms are moving away from students sitting in rows and learning on the own.  Students are starting to be provided with opportunities to make connections and learn from their peers and other amazing resources besides text books.  Social Media now even opens more doors for students to connect and share their learning with others! I could not imagine teaching in the classroom in the picture below.  “MYOB Learning” stands for “mind your own business” learning.
dont limit child

Photo Credit: Picture taken from Alec’s slide

What do you see when you look at the picture above??

I see a dull boring classroom where there is no spark or energy in the room.  The space is NOT stimulating or dynamic!  One of the principles of early learning explores the environment piece in a classroom.  To learn more about the principles of early learning check out one of my previous blog posts.  It appears in this photo that students are not able/encouraged to connect or communicate with one another.  We do not make surgeons go into the operating room alone and without collaborating with others…so why do some educators believe that students must learn alone?  If I am unsure about what to do with a student who is struggling I ask a fellow colleague for suggestions, ask for advice and get some help.  So why do some teachers not provide their students the opportunities to ask their peers questions about their learning and collaborate with others?  I think it is important to make sure you assess students knowledge, but there are so many ways to provide opportunities for students to show case their learning.  This #eci831 class was a great example providing students the possibility of choice.  We got to choose our own projects and decide on how we were going to show case our learning (Genius hour/Rhizomatic learning).  Some students projects were very hands on allowing students to become makers.  We were also provided with a variety of different tools to use to show case our learning such as our blog, Google Plus, and Twitter.  Yes we were to use all three, but if we favoured one over the other that was okay.  In the class we were provided with more choices for our summary of learning project.  We just needed to follow the brief outline for the project, but the doors were wide open and we were able to chose what format we wanted to make our presentation in.  In my classroom I provide I little bit of choice, but that is one area that I want to continue to develop, especially in the later half of the year in my classroom.

How I am learning both online and off line spaces?

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts and throughout this class I am a visual learner.  I learn best through watching someone demonstrate a skill.  Learning through Social Media and the internet has allowed me to have all kinds of opportunities to learn through looking at pictures, diagrams, read blogs/articles and watch videos.  I like how I can leave comments on people’s posts and that others can leave me comments giving me advice or feedback on my work.  I think a down side is how much time it can take to find the correct resource or losing time while exploring and viewing all the different resources.  I do not want to take away all my time while being on social media…I need to have time to be a fiancé, teacher, daughter, sister, and friend.  One of the down side with learning online is that I am also a social butterfly and sometimes I struggle with being concise when blogging or typing my thoughts.  At times when I type I begin to ramble and struggle getting to my point.  There were times that found it hard to showcase my work through the digital world without having glitches with technology.  I did enjoy our final class last Tuesday. (Thanks Alec and Katia for the pizza again! )  It was wonderful to get a chance to meet everyone officially who was able to attend.  It was also a little bit strange to walk into a room and feel like you know the person without formally meeting them in person before.  I enjoyed this class being online because I did not have to drive on the highway to get to class for four hours in my evening I  was able to attend class from the comfort of my home.  Students were also able to participate in class while being away from home by using their cells.  I think it would be nice to have at least one more face to face class.  We had such a good discussion last Tuesday from what we were learning about.  Time just flew by so I think it would have been neat to have had one face to face class in the middle of the semester as well.  I think we did have an amazing class as we also had so many people asking questions and commenting throughout our Tuesday night class on black board collaborate and also on Titter, Google Plus, and on our blogs.

question about students

Photo Credit: Picture taken from Alec’s slide

    I think as educators we need to start doing a better job of “preparing students for the type of world they currently live in.”  Educators need to have this discussion as a staff and it needs to be explored further at a division level.  Our world is evolving and occupations are not the same as they use to be.  Each jobs now require their employees to have more of a variety of skills set depending on the what the career is.  I really appreciated having our discussion last Tuesday night about what do we do next.  I think so many people are not educated in Social Media and the digital world. Teachers need to be provided with professional develop opportunities to learn more about teaching students to be positive digital citizens.  We can not keep our door such and avoid social networks.  Now is the time to  educate our students about digital citizenship!  Starting at a young age students need to be aware of their digital footprint and how that can shape their world.  Students need to be given time to reflect on what kinds of footprints they would like to leave on the world.  I think their are so many possibilities now in education! Please check out this video below that Alec shared with us at the end of his presentation.  This proves to power of connected learning!
question about living in the connect relatily

Photo Credit: Picture taken from Alec’s slide

This class has taught me the importance of making my learning and thoughts visible.  We need to continue to share and grow as learners…By making our thinking and learning visible for others to view.  In closing to find the answer to Alec’s final question presented above in how I am living and learning in our connected reality…please check our my Summary of Learning Project!  I discuss this question in the conclusion of my project!  Enjoy! 🙂

But, more importantly I would like to know….”How are you living and learning in our connected reality.”

I encourage you to leave your thoughts on Networked Identities and tell me your answer to Alec’s question! Thanks!



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