My learning styles, according to the survey, showed that I am a very visual learner (9), very sensing (7), and in the middle for active (3) and global (1). I find that these correlate to my studying preferences. I excel in classes where I can see everything that I am doing and understand It organically rather than trying to picture it in my mind. Charts and diagrams stick out rather than a lecture because I can place exactly where the fact goes and have a visual representation. My sensing level was also not surprising, as I hate hypotheticals in learning situations. Using concrete information is key to my own understanding of a concept. I think my learning preferences have changed only slightly, maybe now I would score a higher active level. This class helped show me how to utilize my preferences for learning and take advantage of my own styles to improve my learning as best as I can. When I first took the learning preferences survey my results where the following: reflective (1), sensing (7), verbal (9), sequential (3). This seemed to fit my learning style well. I had know that I tend to lean toward verbal learning and preferred to do things in sequential order. Sensing also seemed to fit me very well.I would much rather learn factual material than abstractly. Hands-on work is one of the best ways for me to learn. I understand concepts in explanation, but if I want to master it quickly the best way is for me to do it myself. As we come to the end of class, I have found that I haven't seen much change in my learning style. I do think that the verbal is a little bit too heavy to one side. I think visual learning is a tool that I like to utilize in my learning, despite preferring verbal learning.
Learning Preferences and the scales that go along with them help people, especially students, understand their thinking and how there are different styles to learning, not simply just the one way everyone is taught in school. Knowing there are differences and different strategies to maximize learning capabilities will help anyone achieve as much as possible. Understanding one’s personal learning preferences allows individuals to craft learning plans that will improve their overall learning. If a person is having a difficult time understanding the material of a class knowing the types of learning that they prefer can help them to absorb the knowledge in a way more useful to them individually.
I chose to be a Learning Warrior in the beginning of this class in order to gain a better understanding of how to utilize these technologies I was already aware of to help my learning skills. With regards to the social technologies, I do not think that it was especially helpful for my learning but it was helpful for adding to my own knowledge. Understanding how to use Facebook as more than just a place to chat and share with friends put Facebook shifted my opinion of Facebook as well as other social networks. Using games as more than something to play with and relax my mind was an interesting concept. Having fun while learning science and other information heavy subjects as a college student was a great discovery. Each pathway focuses on a different aspect of the technology. Understanding all, specifying one, and collaborating with others are different approaches that allow each person to take away different ideas about each technology. In any given group, the members will most likely be different types of learners and will need other points of view in order to round out a project. I did not change my pathway as I feel that my knowledge of social technologies was greatly expanded through these quests. At the beginning of class, I chose the Learning Warrior pathway. Social bookmarking was something that I had never heard of before, which is kind of funny because I believe Pinterest is considered social bookmarking and I use it all the time. The concept of bookmarking sources and documents as a group is really interesting and I found it to be very useful for group research. I also found the social networking technologies really useful as well. I learned about social networking sites that I had never heard that could be applied to individual or group learning. Over this course, I learned that social networking could be usefully for more than just socializing. The different pathways help to provide a group with different ways of looking at things in hopes of producing better work overall. Learning Sages bring the big picture to the table, their focus is on gaining a spectrum of knowledge. Learning Warriors bring the details, their focus is on knowing one or few technologies well. Learning Guides help everyone work together to achieve the overall goal. I did not change my pathway over the course of the cla ss.
We think that the social networking activities helped us to gain a broader understanding of how to use social technology to learn. The activities opened our eyes to new ways to use social networking in an academic setting. They also introduced us to social networking sites that we had not heard of before. WiseEarth.org showed us how social networking could be used to gain new knowledge about sustainability and either join projects or start your own. Livemocha.com showed us how social networking can provide a world wide network to learn new language skills. Overall, the social networking activities taught us that social networking is not just about socializing online. The Predict, Use, and Evaluate section of the Games and MMOGs quest gave us the most detailed insight into using a new technology for learning. Using a known game, such as Lemonade Stand, to evaluate students marketing, manufacturing, and basic business skills is a fun way to get the students interested and excited about the assignment at hand. Knowing that we were the sole executor of each decision we made and that the fate of the business was in our hands was a great real-life simulation. The Social Bookmarking Quest was the most helpful for the collaboration aspect of social learning. Looking at each website, such as the website for the U.S. economy and evaluating each student’s comments is a new way to utilize social bookmarking.
The Games and MMOGs Social Technology quest was the most interesting to explore. Looking at each game and knowing that it had an academic benefit made the games a little bit more exciting for me. I played with each game for some time before submitting my evaluation forms. Games utilize my visual, sensing and active preferences. In the Lemonade Stand game, there was a legitimate scenario every “day” that was realistic (sensing) and seeing it on the screen helped me visualize the ending in my mind. Taking an active role in the decisions was also accommodating to my own style. I like being in situations that are real, well-developed, and where I have the power. This strategy does not help my global preference as much as the others as the Lemonade Game gave a step by step analysis of everything that contributed to the sales at the end of the day. The social technology quest I found most interesting was social networking. I think the social technology quests in general are a bit opposed to my learning styles because a lot of my learning preferences favor individual work. Social technology was a bit out of my comfort zone. Having said that, I did really enjoy getting to learn in a new way. I really enjoyed the learning style of livemocha.com. I think social learning is great for learning a new language, especially since I have struggled with learning languages in the past. As a verbal and sequential learner, social networking seemed to be very visually stimulating so that was a bit off putting at first. However, I learned that livemocha, while socially interactive, allowed me to follow a planned lesson guide that I determined the pace. This allowed me to accommodate my sequential learning preferen ce.
We both found different technologies to be the most interesting. I found Games to be interesting and Kayla found Social Networking to be the most interesting. As a learning tool, we agreed that Social Networking was the technology that surprised us the most as we had not thought about these websites in an academic view. Social Bookmarking was interesting, but it did not seem to be helpful for my own styles and what I am studying in school. I did not have the same issues with social bookmarking. I found that it could be a very useful tool for group or individual research. I think that each of the social technologies had their own merits when it came being used as learning tools. We think the social technology that works best for our learning preferences were Games. They appeal to my verbal learning preference and Kourtney’s visual learning preference through their use of both visuals and verbal instructions. They also allow for a hands-on approach to learning, which appeals to our shared sensing learning preference. Our preferences differ when it comes to reflective versus active but games can appeal to both. In Lemonade Stand, the player actively makes decisions but they must reflect on each daily report in order to make the correct decisions for the next business day. Though we look at each situation differently, both of us can utilize the same resources to help us achieve the end-goal.
When this class ends, I will most likely not use any of these strategies on a regular basis as I am graduating this semester. As for learning to improve my career and abilities for that career, the games I encountered could be a fun way for me to help the youth I will be working with with their math and science homework. The social learning strategies that I will continue to use are social networking and possibly games. Social networking is a great way to learn new things from people from all walks of life. I think this is a strategy that can be applied to school, work, and personal growth. I also would like to utilize games, as I think they are a great learning strategy. The only reason I hesitate with games is that I am not sure that there will always be games that contribute to the subject I am learning. The technologies that we will continue to use will be the social networking genre. Our generation helped make these networking sites what they are today and we will continue to explore and learn new ways to take advantage of these websites with our continued use. Beyond this class, I will continue to use the social networking site livemocha.com. This site provides a great way to learn a new language with the support of speakers all over the world. This technology is something that can improve me personally, as well as, improve my skills for the work environment. Being multilingual is a valued skill for many employers and this social technology can help me gain that skill.
Synthesis Quest for Social Learning
Synthesis Quest for Social Learning Kayla Harris Kourtney Chevalier
P e r s o n a l L e a r n in g P re fe re nc e sReflective: 1 Active: 3Sensing: 7 Sensing: 7Verbal: 9 Visual: 9Sequential: 3 Global: 1Kayla Harris Kourtney Chevalier
T h o u g h t s o n L e a r n in g P re fe re nc e s Individualized Learning Plans Understanding Different Strategies for IndividualsKayla Harris and Kourtney Chevalier
L e a r n in g P a t h w a y sLearning Warriors!!! To gain a deeper understanding of social technologiesLearning Pathways as a Group Understanding All, Specifying One, Collaborating With Others Different Types of Learners Help to Better Round Out a Project Kayla Harris and Kourtney Chevalier
A c t iv it ie sBroader Understanding: Social NetworkingDeeper Understanding: GamesLearning with Others: Social Bookmarking Kayla Harris and Kourtney Chevalier
E x p lo r in g S o c ia l T e c h n o lo g yMost Interesting: Social Most Interesting: Networking Games Livemocha.com Lemonade StandAccommodates: Accommodates: Sequential ActiveKayla Harris Sensing Visual Kourtney Chevalier
S y n t h e s isMost Interesting Learning Tool: Games and Social NetworkingMost Surprising Learning Tool: Social NetworkingLeast Helpful Learning Tool: Social BookmarkingBest for Our Learning Preferences: Games Verbal, Visual, Sensing, Active, Reflective Kayla Harris and Kourtney Chevalier
S umma ryWe will continue to use the following Social Strategies: Social Network GamesWe will continue to use the following Social Technologies: Social Networking Kayla Harris and Kourtney Chevalier