Just about every interaction and opportunity can be a learning experience. Below is a Mind-Map Graphic Organizer depicting my thoughts regarding my own learning network. As I completed this look into my Connective Learning Network, I determined that on the left side of the diagram, I had listed a variety of resources which I consult, or interact with, in random order. However, on the right side, I have listed various life learning experiences, from school and career, which occurred in a more sequential order:
Analysis of this Mind-Map:
This diagram reflects the two divergent styles of learning theory: the right side representing learning that is acquired in some “right” way – through direct instruction such as used by the Behaviorists, and through sequential building of understanding onto life experiences and prior knowledge, such as the cognitivists would prescribe.
On the left side of the diagram, however, learning opportunities are not sequential, but rather are a reflection of connections to others and the learning that is gained through random and planned interactions with people and resources, such as prescribed by the Constructivists. The left side of the diagram reflects my own choice in interacting with the outside world, as I am inspired to do so, through media and by building on such human and experiential resources, as the Connectivists would prescribe.
In essence, it is reasonable to summarize all four theories, and the methods that derive from them, can be successfully combined to produce a well-rounded and well balanced learning experience, and should each be considered when planning and designing effective curriculum, especially with regards to curriculum which requires a meaningful and enjoyable experience via a human-computer interface, such as with online-instruction.
Although not intentional, this mind-map may actually be representational of the two-hemispheres of the human brain, considering research which as hinted to the idea that one side is more sequential, and the other side more global in its operation. This also reminds me of the human-computer interaction model of how Facebook/Timeline is beginning to shape it’s functionality: in one part, users are creating and recording a sequence of life events and interactions, which can reflect their learning and gaining of new information.
While on the other hand, the way that Facebook is used is designed to function in a non-sequential network of potential connections to outside resources, such as friends, shared content, access to other’s timelines and albums, and the opportunity to communicate through message and chat. This unique juxtaposition of both a sequential and a non-linear connectedness can likewise lead to invaluable information gained in a non-traditional learning format.