How has your network changed the way you learn?
I think that my learning network move from a typical learning methods to a e-learner. Computer and internet now are part of my learning methods. It is incredible the way technology has been changing in the last two decades. Before I was taking classes face to face and using a typing machine to finish important papers. With the years I was using the fax machine to send some papers to teachers. With technology changes during the last decade the computer was part of my life, but I was using it to type, and do some research using eric journals, as well as to create presentations for my classes. Then I started to send some papers by e-mail and to receive CD-rooms and DVD with video programs. Today my network change drastically, I am taking online courses using internet and computer to observe videos, post discussions, research e-libraries and e-journals, and creating blogs. In the past, I used to save a lot of papers to storage all my learning materials, today I am using my computer to save most of my learning materials.
Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?
Definitely my computer is the best tool I can have, I have installing some programs to my computer so I can create some papers, presentations, read and send my e-mails, download my photographs, blog and have a calendar with my things to do, etc. I can watch videos and other programs through CD-rooms, or educational videos. The internet access give me the opportunity to save some papers online and have access everywhere, although I am still using the memory sticks to save most or all of my papers. I bought a webcam to communicate using messenger or skype with family, friends, instructors, and peers as well as to record interviews for some projects. I am depending also of my cell phone were I receive texts or messages indicating that I have new e-mails in my account. In the near future I want to buy a blackberry where I can have access to internet and check my e-mails as well as develop some papers.
How do you learn new knowledge when have questions?
When I have questions about my courses or any information that I want to gather for me or my family, I use the computer to do some research using journals or e-books, blogs, wikis, and other documents. I can do it also by accessing a wide range of different learning communities such as instructor, fellow students, and friends. Since I think my learning boost by participating actively, I am part of the e-learning community sharing what I have been learning through different methods such as my blog, responding to questions from my fellows and friends, and by making the connections with my life experiences.
In what ways does your personal learning network support or refute the central tenets of connectivism?
The central tenets of connectivism as supported by Bandura and Lev Vygostky is by social learning theory. Bandura's theory emphasizes "the importance of observing and modeling the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others" while an important concept in Vygotsky's theory is that "the potential for cognitive development is limited to a certain time span which he calls the zone of proximal development" (Kearsley 1944e). The connection to this theories and my learning network is that I am learning from the model of my instructors and fellow student peers, and by being a part of a learning community to assist and support other students. I can use the ZPD by learning from instructors and more skilled peers. I am socially interacting in my learning community that is composed of instructors, fellow students, friends, family, and technology benefits as mentioned before.
Patsula, Peter J. "Learning_theories_full_version." SMBTN™ - The Small Business Town Network of Websites for Entrepreneurs. Web. 06 June 2011. <http://www.patsula.com/usefo/webbasedlearning/tutorial1/learning_theories_full_version.html