by Stephen Downes
Dec 14, 2016
One of the reasons I'm enthusiastic about practice and engagement in a discipline is that these provide natural environments for the reinforcement of learning. The need for reinforcement - or as it's sometimes called, spaced learning - is well documented. As Ryan Eudy says, "There are many good psychological theories about what is conducive to remembering. In a nutshell, these theories agree that information is not so much 'stored' and 'retrieved' in the brain as it is connected, rehearsed, and reconstructed." Yet it is often overlooked in real learning and development situations. There are ways to address that, but first managers have to get past the 'brain as bookshelf' model of learning. Related: Duolingo on How We Learn.
Understanding this mindset is key to understanding a lot of what happens in the mythologizing of learning, writes Bonnie Stewart: @socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” The idea is that people don't address underlying socio-economic causes of poverty because they don't see themselves as poor. "I’m particularly interested in how we fight the strange cocktail of victimization and entitlement that hate leeches onto and deploys in its service," she writes. "I’m interested in how media and social media are part of the problem, and what we do about it."
This isn't exactly the Connectivism I know, but the application is interesting. Zack Underwood repositions connectivism as a means of integrating past knowledge with new knowledge, thus addressing some issues in academic advising.
Online learning is a lot more convenient for students, offers potential cost savings for institutions and public education systems, and often offers a superior learning experience thanks to the affordances learning technology offers. Yet one of the major roadblocks to implementing online learning, one of the major roadblocks to all the socio-economic benefits more equitable access to higher education offers, are the professors themselves. And the resistors are - quite frankly - quacks. As the story notes, "professors with the deepest resistance are those with the least familiarity with digital instruction," and "solid research over many years has failed to support the overwhelming negative attitudes that most faculty members hold toward virtual learning." If I did the same thing, the academics would be all over my case. But because they're professors.... ooo-ooo-ooooooo
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