Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Learning in a Digital World

For me personally, technology has affected my learning -- and for the better -- in so many ways that it is difficult to single out any one factor as the most transformative or important in 21st century education. For, I remain a constructivist and, by extension, I try to make the most of a learning environment based on life experiences, be they in the use of technology or some other instructional tool. However, for the purpose of this blog assignment and the impact of technology on the manner in which I learn in a highly informational and digital world, I credit the learning theories of Piaget (Driscoll, 2005), Vygotsky (Driscoll, 2005), and Gardner (2003) as significant in my ability to understand knowledge derived through cognitive development and multiple intelligences. Saettler (2004) described the 30-year period from the 1950s to the 1980s as pivotal for cognitive science and educational technology because of the focus on “knowledge and constructions” (Saettler, 2004, p.319) for enhanced understanding of what was being taught. While Gardner did not begin shedding light until later in the 20th century on the skills and/or intelligences that I am convinced benefit both a face-to-face learning environment and an online environment, I have no doubt the use of technology has helped to kick my learning and that of my students up a notch – thanks to graphic organizers, conceptualization, connectivisim, and other forms of critical-thinking software in the vast arena of multimedia and digital technology.
Thus, as a constructivist in the realm of learner and educator, who constantly but relentlessly pursues experiential ways of optimal points of learning, a tip of the hat certainly goes to Piaget, Vygotsky, and Gardner, among other constructivists, who have figured prominently in my theoretical learning approach. I also a owe great deal to the pragmatism of Dewey (1938; 1997), whose experiential approach to reform and societal change is often a cornerstone for the kind of solid philosophical and pedagogical foundation I need as an educator to keep my students ahead of the learning curve in a burgeoning digital age. As an educator, Dewey’s theoretical approach to learning, coupled with a firm constructivist philosophy, no doubt have aided greatly in the kind of engagement my students so desperately need to yield desired learning outcomes. It is this learning approach I view as critical and non-negotiable in my pedagogical missions.
Dewey, J. (1938; 1997). Experience and education. New York, NY:  Touchstone.
Driscoll, P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed.). New York, NY:  Pearson.
Gardner, H. (2003, April). Multiple intelligences after twenty years. Paper presented to the   
           American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. Retrieved from
Saettler, P. (2004). The evolution of American educational technology. Greenwich, CT: 
           Information Age Publishing.
The two following blogs regarding "Learning in a Digital World" are blogs on which I comment for Module 6:

Debbie Morris

Martha Bless



  1. Fred,
    Great post! I admire that you were able to identify so clearly your educational approach. This is a struggle for me because I find I take bits and pieces of a variety of them. Maybe I have to come up with my own name....:) Actually, I think that connectivism is probably something I've been employing as long as I've been an educator. :)
    Thanks for your insights...they got me thinking!

  2. Fred I like your post. I am learning for the better as well through technology. I used to think it was an nitrous ion to have so much at my fingertips. Now I embrace it and take the opportunity to learn everywhere I go. Thanks to technology I can study on the go.