My network connection changed the way in which I learn in many ways. Through online research, educational resources, and communities of expertise and interest, people can easily access information and find relationships that support self-directed learning. Through social media, people can form relationships with peers that are centered on interest, expertise, and future opportunity in areas of interest.
There are a number of digital tools that best facilitate learning such as The Walden Library, Blogs, classmates and YouTube. The Walden Library provides me with a virtual library at my fingertips. On the library’s home page the user utilize search and find, which can connect the user with access to course reading, articles, e-books, pertinent databases, encyclopedias, newspapers, magazines and journals for research. Also the Walden Library provides the users with the assistance of a librarian by phone or by e-mail if questions need to be answered. Under the help and guide menu the user can utilize webinars, receive technical help and save and organize data. Secondly blogs have fundamentally changed the way we use the Internet, from mostly information consumers to information creators and contributors (Du & Wagner, 2007). Blogs differ from discussion boards because blogs are controlled and owned by the bloggers and are primarily centered on and identified with their author or authors, rather than around specific topics. Blogs invite users to share, create, and interact in a virtual space through writhing and commenting on each other’s post to generate knowledge. Thirdly, interacting with classmates facilitates learning with the sharing of information and differentiated points of view through the use of the courses discussion board, student lounge, and Skype. My peer group enables me to access information, seek different points of view, and opens the door to useful debates. Finally, YouTube has been instrumental with my on-line learning experience. YouTube provides access to online tutorials, seminars, discussions, and lectures from prominent professors. YouTube has been instrumental in bridging the gap between university and students taking courses online.
Using all of the above mentioned digital tools allow me to gain new knowledge to my questions. Through digital tools I am able to gain multiple perspectives on outstanding questions, which allows me to drawn the best conclusion base on collaboration with my peer group and professors.
My personal learning supports the central tenets of connectivism by making learning a socially enacted process, promotes my principles in learning. Connectivism is the application of network principles to define both knowledge and the process of learning. Knowledge is defined as a particular pattern of relationships and learning is defined as the creation of new connections and patterns as well as the ability to maneuver around existing networks/patterns. Connectivism focuses on the inclusion of technology as part of our distribution of cognition and knowledge. In my network the information that is acquired is worth exploring with my social learning community. To “learn from experience” is to make a backward and forward connection between what we do to things and what we enjoy or suffer from things in consequence. Under such conditions, doing becomes a trying; an experiment with the world to find out what it is like; the undergoing becomes instruction— discovery of the connection of things.
John Dewey “Democracy in Education,” 1916
Du, H. S., & Wagner, C. (2007). Learning with weblogs: Enhancing cognitive and social knowledge construction. IEEE Transactions of Professional Communication, 50(1), 1–16.