In today’s world, the focus is on digital learning. This makes sense when you consider that learning in the 21st century is student-centered (Ertmer, Ottenbreit-Leftwich & Tondeur, 2014). Three of the most recognized learning styles are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Technology is a catalyst that allows the teacher to assist the students in learning from a variety of the recognized learning styles using the curriculum activities in a multi-style fashion (Gilakjani, 2011). Technology has added a new dimension to the learning process. This digital infrastructure not only enhances innovation but it provides a flexible platform upon which the teacher can examine the relevance of the various styles of learning to each individual student. With this in mind, I believe that the critical and non-negotiable aspect of teaching and learning is flexibility.
I believe that education has undergone a metamorphosis as a result of technology. Perhaps it is my background in information technology that makes me value the networked approach to learning. During my years as an undergraduate, I attended a brick-and-mortar university. Online Distance Education (DE) was not an option. If it had not been for DE, I probably would not have been able to obtain my Masters’ degree due to my fluctuating work schedule and the horrific rush hour traffic patterns in my area. Online learning impacts the way I manage my time and my studies. The Internet is the technological backbone for online learning and, the new learning tools such as Learning Management Systems, social learning tools, and the interactive and multimedia tools (Boling et al., 2012). I believe that knowledge is gained through experience. This constructivist mindset has been around for a while since Dewey (1938/1997) and the Progressive party supported the social interaction between the student and the teacher as an effective learning platform, (see video). The social component of connectivism takes place in a virtual environment, which precludes the student from learning via face-to-face interaction as explained by Dr. George Siemens. I believe that a new world deserves new tools. Whether these tools appear in the form of an educational game or a chat session, the key is that the tools should engage the student while promoting learning.
Beetham, H., & Sharpe, R. (2013). Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age: Designing for 21st century learning. routledge.
Boling, E. C., Hough, M., Krinsky, H., Saleem, H., & Stevens, M. (2012). Cutting the distance in distance education: Perspectives on what promotes positive, online learning experiences. The Internet and Higher Education, 15(2), 118-126.
Dewey, J. (1938/1997). Experience and education. New York, NY: Touchstone.
Gilakjani, A. P. (2011). Visual, auditory, kinaesthetic learning styles and their impacts on English language teaching. Journal of Studies in Education, 2(1), 104-113.
Ertmer, P. A., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., & Tondeur, J. (2014). Teachers’ beliefs and uses of technology to support 21st-century teaching and learning. International Handbook of Research on Teachers’ Beliefs, 403.