Activity 3.3 – Learning and Technology Theories Reflection
Which is the best theory that I learn from? I would have to say that cognitivism works best for me. The reason I say this is because it is most similar to my personal study habits. As a student with materials such as lecture notes, textbooks and sample questions, I have become comfortable with repetition and knowledge compression; continuously going over content until I fully understand is my process for my studies. I have felt the negative consequences of the extraneous, intrinsic and germane loads (Peacock,2012), which resulted from information not being in an organized or understandable way. I agree with this theory and its methods of breaking down information into meaningful chunks; it has helped me with organizing large amounts of information over time. I can take something like a big concept in physics like potential energy and I can chunk it into its different fields such as electrical fields and gravity. When it comes to outside of school, I also have experienced the importance of repetition when it comes to learning important skills such as driving. I find it difficult to understand how it would be possible for me to learn to drive a car via the constructivist theory. This theory would require me to have some background knowledge and assuming I have never driven before I would not feel comfortable with this model. I feel repetition again would be most beneficial in this scenario because it allows me to reinforce lessons that are fresh and not yet fully understood. Another reason why I am more in tune with cognitive load theory is because it allows me to work independently; with my busy schedule and massive lecture rooms I don’t see a discussion being very practical.
How can technology help me learn via the cognitive load theory? One option would be if my instructor began using online videos from YouTube. This gives him or her the opportunity to show the lesson in a more dynamic format. As a student I may continuously go through information in a textbook but I will lack either the context or I can miss something key that may be a common mistake from repetitive reading. An online video perhaps using diagrams or animations could help add some meaning to this information. If I am able to see electrons being transferred between atoms in a video then this would be easier for me to remember in an exam than if the path was to be described in continuous text in a textbook. A second technology that could help me for my reinforcement of content could be podcasts. This is a technology that was used in our Week 3 EDIT 202 lecture and is growing quickly in other classes. In lectures it is difficult for students to keep up with the instructors as well as trying to connect the various ideas. If there are podcasts though, the student can focus more on connecting the ideas and thus will have a better chance of understanding the holistic concept. Then after lecture the student can go to the podcast and go over the finer details, which will require more repetitious reinforcement. They would also remember these finer details more easily because of their finer understanding of the concepts connecting in class. A third technology that I will address is using appropriate tools on programs such as Microsoft PowerPoint for presentations. David McCandless addresses this in his TEDTalk. He shows how putting the information in a colorful and understandable way can reveal patterns and add meaning for the observer (McCandless, 2010). Technology is being integrated to almost every part of our system and it is weaving into our languages as we evolve with it. As our lessons adapt with technology we can better prepare ourselves for a more connected future.
McCandless, D. (Performer) (2010, July). The beauty of data visualization. TEDtalks. [Video podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/david_mccandless_the_beauty_of_data_visualization.html
Peacock, K. (Performer) (2012, September 25). Learning theories. EDIT 202 – Week 3 . [Audio podcast]. Retrieved fromhttps://eclass.srv.ualberta.ca/mod/resource/view.php?id=400411