Social Learning.Nelson Mendoza (Contributions in Italics) (908001736Robin Martinez (Contributions in BOLD) (911386624)
Describe your personal learning preferences:• (Nelson) At the beginning of the course, I took the learning references survey and got the following results: Active = 7, Sensing = 7, Global = 5, and Visual = 1. Quite frankly I want to say that it scared me how accurate I think this test was. I read the description for each one and it described me perfectly. I am a person who likes to learn by doing, cannot just sit in class and watch a PowerPoint, and I learn by teaching other I don’t really think my view on my learning style has changed at the end of the course at all, in fact I think I was able to embrace it by using the various amounts of technology I had available to me. For example, I made heavy use of my laptop and tablet to do some side research of my economics lectures while in class to help boost my understanding of concepts. I guess my thinking has changed in a way to better support my learning preferences. I haven’t changed my views on my learning preferences just because I agree with the numbers and feel like my learning preferences are relatively established.• (Robin)When I first took the learning preferences survey it indicated that I was an active and verbal learner my scores were ACT=3, SEN=5, VRB=5, SEQ=5. It was interesting to see that most of my learning preferences described the way I learn concepts in most of my classes. On the other hand, I would have say that I disagree with some of the scores I got on the survey. For example when it came to the score for visual/ verbal preferences, it said that I learned best from spoken, and written explanations than through the use of visuals which I feel I fall in between the two and learn best when I have a visual and written explanations to give me a better understanding of the material. At the end of the class my thinking about my learning preferences has changed somewhat in the sense that after taking this class I was more aware of my learning preferences. I was able to use them to my advantage in other classes this semester especially in my Management class where most of what we learn in class is through verbal explanation. I learned to retain the material better through the use of these learning preferences.
Summarize your groups thoughts about learning preferences:• We both agree that after taking this course while trying to stay particularly aware of our previously subconscious learning preferences, it made this semester slightly less challenging. I think that my thinking has not changed much about my learning preferences because I was already aware of them however my colleague does feel her attitude has changed because she was skeptical about her learning style but feels she can now embrace it. We think that knowing your learning style and being able to effectively utilizing it in the classroom and learning settings can be extremely helpful when it comes down to learning new material and retaining it, not just regurgitating it for an exam. If a person knows how their personal learning preferences work and what they are, it can become easier to pay attention in class, to study, and to be more successful. Otherwise you will be stuck frustrated unable to retain information like we once were. Ultimately, we feel that learning styles tool should be something taught early on so as to help students who struggle in school because it really helped us in being more successful this particular semester.
Describe the learning pathway you chose at the beginning of the class:• (Nelson) At the beginning of the semester, I chose the Learning Warrior pathway. I do enjoy helping others a lot, which made it difficult to choose between warrior and guide, but I decided that it was time I did some personal growth and learning myself before I ended my college term. I was able to learn a lot about social technologies that helped me expand my knowledge in ways to learn with others. I wanted to learn about how I could integrate collaborative websites into my group study sessions. I live in Pittsburg and some of my group members lived closer to campus, so meeting up wasn’t always ideal. We, instead, used sites like Google docs, dabble board, etc. to be able to collaborate together without actually all being present. I did not change my pathway but I did deviate a little to the learning guide because I was able to help other students set up accounts on delicious, Virtonomics and other miscellaneous collaborative websites. I decided not to change my pathway just because I wanted personal development.• (Robin) The learning pathways that I choose at the beginning of class were learning sage. I felt I was especially successful in getting a broader understanding of social technologies. At first I thought that to myself how are social networks beneficial for learning? After learning about how to use social networking for learning, I went on to actually test this with one of my classes. I used Facebook to form a classroom page for the class so we could all communicate about our project long semester. It worked out really well and would use it to chat and send messages about the project and if we had any questions as well. We also used Google hangout as well to communicate and see each other face to face through video chat, since we all live very far and have different schedules from each other. Throughout the process I did change my learning pathway for this particular technology. I was so excited how well I could utilize social networking for learning, that I decided to research other forms of social networks for learning. Definitely will be using this for other classes!
Summarize how the activities you completed contributed or did not contribute to your learning pathway.• We believe that there was a lot of activities that helped us understand how to use social technology better than we had used it before. For example, this was Nelson’s first time using Google docs for collaborative learning and I was able to help him set up some lecture notes to share with others as well as us completing this assignment collaboratively on Google docs. We both also were new to twitter, and even though its a micro blog we tried to use it as a means of social networking with others. In this case, the social The Social Networking Quest was probably the most useful. The Games and MMOGs quest was really helpful for me. I love using Virtonomics because I’m an econ major and as part of my independent study, I assist in teaching the lower division intro micro classes. Using Virtonomics I can help other students learn simple economic fundamentals all while building a social network with others. Quite frankly, we both agree that doing the quizzes and reading/listening/watching the lectures for ALL of the quests were very helpful (especially since we both have different learning styles). Nelson did not listen to them as profoundly as I did but he did read through every detail of the power points. Also, the level 3 portions of the Games and MMOGs quest helped a lot because it forced the use of social technology for experimental purposes in our learning throughout the semester. We think that specifically, the best activities were the ones that required interactive learning like the level 3 for the iPad and Podcasts. Together we tried using the twitter website to see if we could collaborate together which again, they forced us to actually apply the technology into our lives.
Describe the top social technologies you explored for learning:• (Nelson) The social technology quest I thought was most explored on my end was the social networks and the games and mmogs quest. I did a lot of work for the level 3 quest (application in our coursework). I bought an Android based tablet (Samsung Galaxy Tab 2) so that I can use it to take notes I class and do some side research while in class. However, to the tablet I also added several applications that allowed for collaborative work with my current ITECH partner as well as work with other econ majors. I think it really did accommodate my active and sensing learning preferences very well because I was able to actively find ways to help others as well as complete homework assignments and group work without having to actually be in the same zip code as the other person. Being an economics major is tough when you are an active learner, especially since I live so far and dont spend that much time on campus other than in class. A lot of the course work is theory and application coursework does not come until the final courses. Using the social technology for my coursework enabled me to collaborate more with others in my classes without being present. We used Skype, Google hangout, Evernote and a lot of others to share notes, work together on assignments, screen share, and help each other study. Having my social network at the tip of my fingers is (and probably always will be) a useful tool to use.• (Robin) The social technology quest that I explored was social networks. I felt that social networks especially had a great impact on my learning preferences (active learning preferences, and sensing learning preferences and verbal) Through the use of social networks such as Facebook; I was able to interact with others from my classes and help each other understand that material better. I think that I gained a lot of new knowledge in the sense that I can actually learn from social networks as opposed to just using them for fun and to “catch up” with old friends. I had no idea social networks could be used so dramatically for learning and collaborative purposes. I also liked that I could use social “hangouts” like Google hangout and Skype to actually listen to a partners instructions or to directly as for help. These resources are a big help because I feel I understand better what I am doing if someone shows me the steps with a verbal explanation. Videos from YouTube, sound clips from iTunes podcasts and podcast.com all helped me in my social learning for my active and verbal senses. I love that I could share these materials with others on Facebook or having others share posts and links with me.
Synthesize your groups experience investigating the use of different social technologies for learning:• (Robin) We both had mixed feelings and experiences about doing collaborative work and using social technology. For example, I am huge on verbal learning, so if I dont have the other person present to talk to or a verbal explanation, it’s more difficult for me to understand what I’m doing than if I just have a written explanation. Simply using Facebook or Google docs alone for collaborative work is harder for me; I like feeling that I have the support to ask questions instantly via conversation not through text and writing. I liked using Skype and Google hangout or any video chat style networking because it allowed me to actually talk to the other person.• (Nelson) On the other hand, I actually love not having to be physically present or even having to talk to my partners for group work. I have always taken leadership positions when it comes to group work and assigning tasks to each person, so with the discovery of Google docs to me it was easier to just highlight the necessary portion of each collaborator and watch everyone complete the tasks at hand. I do use Facebook and just recently Twitter but feel that as far as learning, collaborating and accomplishing work they are not as effective. From what we found, people are not always on Twitter or Facebook so they don’t receive the notifications. Even if they are logged in, it’s easy to get distracted and not accomplish anything. However, setting up “meeting” times via video calls and using collaborative white boards and email were way more effective. My only wish was that it were more well synced with Google+ AND Facebook and that there can be a way to integrate new document notifications either via Twitter, Facebook or other social sites other than Google+
Summarize how you will use what you learned in this class:• Taking this class has taught us both a great deal about ourselves, our learning preferences, and how to use technology to our advantage. Although we never imagined that social technology would ever be useful for getting actual work done and learning from it, we discovered that in fact it was an extremely useful resource. One of the biggest things we both agree we will take with us to future classes and quite possibly into the workforce is the ability to collaborate with others no matter where in the world all team members are. Skype, Facebook, whiteboard apps, and other miscellaneous applications that businesses use are extremely resourceful when working with your social network is essential. I plan to work in to work in the field of nutrition or dietetics, so being able to discuss diet plans, present them and watch a persons progress without having to meet with them in person is a huge break through. I think it allows for me to be able to motivate people via social websites as well as to extend my network of clientele. As far as learning is concerned, I believe that we can use social networking and social media to learn from each other. I plan to start posting nutrition advice videos along with some cardio workouts that I have found to be effective.• Personally, I think the most popular web based collaborating site was Google docs. I only wish was that it was better synced with Google+ AND Facebook and that there can be a way to integrate new document notifications either via Twitter, Facebook or other social sites other than Google+. I plan to become either a Professional Economist (PhD) or Financial Analyst (MBA) so being able to present information, power points, and all other information to a firm through a live video stream at any given time needed is absolutely amazing. This is something I think I will take with me no matter what career path I choose. As far as learning, I am a firm believer that we can all learn something new every day, being able to communicate and socialize with new networks allows for the spread of new ideas to happen more rapidly than they would without it. In the other hand, the most ineffective tool I found was twitter. Although its a great way to spread ideas, I feel that for learning and resource purposes, its not very well qualified. Twitter, to us, is more of a social newspaper. If you’re curious to know how the weather is in your social network, log in to twitter and you’ll know instantly; but if you need to collaborate and learn, there are way better resources to use.