Thursday, February 23, 2012

Module 6 Learning Philosophy Debra Morris

I believe learning should be an active process that allows students the opportunity to explore and be creative in an environment that promotes success.  I believe learning should be presented in a manner in which the learner does not fear exploration and expression of his/her thoughts.  It should be active and allow for collaboration between learners.  I find that constructivism leans toward my thoughts on learning.  Constructivist learning allows for active engagement and uses problem solving strategies (Driscoll, 2005). This theory allows the learner to build upon prior knowledge. My learning experience with Walden University has provided me with this type of learning environment and therefore, I have applied this style to my teaching.
I have found that students are able to digest and apply material when it is presented in a meaningful way.  In addition, engagement is greater when they are active participants in a community of learners.
I believe creating an environment that is engaging and promotes success is non-negotiable.  My purpose for teaching is to engage students in the exploration of new knowledge and build upon prior knowledge.  It is to promote success for all learners.  In addition I feel my purpose is to create life-long learners that leave my classroom with knowledge and skills they can apply and find purpose in.  With these things in mind, it is vital that I promote the use of technology within this type of environment.  Research has shown that collaboration among learners promotes success.  Technology allows for greater collaboration, engagement, differentiated instruction and task, research of knowledge and application.
Driscoll, M. (2005).  Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
I have responded to Sandra Dykes and Toni Toney

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Module 5

Briefly describe a situation in which you have encouraged people to use a new technology and have been met with resistance or disappointing results. What attitudes did these people exhibit? What behaviors did they demonstrate?

I will never forget my first year moving from a veteran teacher having taught special education in resource and collaborative settings to a teacher in the general education 2nd grade classroom.  Our principal was investigating the process of implementing mimios for our classrooms.  In order to experience with the equipment, he provided teachers with a roll cart which held the mimio equipment.  Mimio is very similar to promethean boards.  He gave me the responsibility of transporting the cart amongst the second grade classrooms, quick training the teachers in its use, and encouraging them to experiment with it.  Boy did I get told.  I met resistance from one particular veteran teacher.  She never moved from her position of arms crossed, smirk on her face and position far away from the equipment.  She informed me that she had no intention of using the material.  She stated that she had done just fine using chalk and board, text,  paper and pencil. She added that she only had one more year and was not about to learn a whole new tool.  This experience was so different from everything I had experienced with my “teacher peers” in special education.  In special education, we were always so tickled to get any new tool to try out with our students! 

On the opposite side I have found that there are those teachers who try very hard to adjust and learn how to use new technology tools.  I especially found this to be true in one first year teacher who taught next to me for several years.  Although we were each older than our remaining team members, we were as excited as young chicks when we got together, shared ideas, and explored new technologies.

The lesson I learned through these experiences is the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are positive, truly care about students, and are creative in their teaching style.

Using Keller’s ARCS model, describe how you could change the motivation of these people, or learners, to encourage success. 

In utilizing ARCS model (Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction), I would do the following:

Promote Attention – Mimio promotes attention immediately.  Students are drawn to the interaction it provides.  They are able to manipulate and interact with the lesson through the use of a pen which makes additions, erases, reveals information and so much more.  Students attention spans are longer when they are engaged and using several of their sensory inputs such as touching, seeing, and hearing.

Improve Relevance –  Teachers would be prepared for this transition rather than throwing it in their hands and saying “here it’s your turn to try it out”.  They will be connected with resources that will enable them to see first-hand how this technology addresses their standards in a dynamic way.  They will have opportunities to discuss amongst themselves issues and ideas for implementation.  Two teachers will be selected to implement it first, and then share their success with the others.  Many times, teachers are more willing to try new tools once they see how it is benefiting their peers.

Build Confidence – Teachers will build confidence in their implementation of the new technology if they are allowed to make the transition through steps.  One major downfall in the experience described above is that some teachers felt they were being forced to try it out.  Comments were made by one teacher that she never gets in front of her class and uses something for the first time.  The time frame of trial was way too short.  The time frame would definitely need to be adjusted.

Promote Satisfaction –  The greatest way to promote satisfaction is through seeing others be successful and then implementing it yourself.  Student’s enthusiasm is also a great resource for promoting satisfaction.  Teachers satisfaction will be heightened if there questions and trouble spots are quickly addressed.


Keller, J. M. (1983). Motivational design of instruction. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional-design theories and models: An overview of their current status. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Keller, J. M. (1984). The use of the ARCS model of motivation in teacher training. In K. Shaw & A. J. Trott (Eds.), Aspects of Educational Technology Volume XVII: staff Development and Career Updating. London: Kogan Page.

Keller, J. M. (1987). Development and use of the ARCS model of motivational design. Journal of Instructional Development, 10(3), 2 – 10.

I have responded to Fred Davis and Karen Wondergem's blog.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Module 4 January 25,2012

How has your network changed the way you learn? 

My personal network has drastically changed over the years as technology has evolved within my adulthood.  Within my college educational experience, there have been an abundance of changes taking place in relation to the course make up, class setting, research, participation, communication, collaboration and presentation.  Technology continues to change and advance at high speeds.  My first experiences in college involved a lot of leg work.  I remember the many trips I had to make to the registrar’s office, the library, my professor’s office and meeting rooms with my peers.  Technology has changed all of these areas.  I no longer have to make that hurdle of a walk to the college library and dig through card catalogues and the micro machines for information.  I can correspond with my college office, my professors, and my collaborative community through various tools rather than spending the time and gas to meet face to face on my out of town college campus. My lap top, I pad and iphone are a lot lighter in weight and offer a vast amount of information as compared to the heavyweight books I once carried.  Technology and all the resources that have been developed in recent years have changed the way I learn in that I have a greater connection to what I am learning.  My learning experience has been enriched tremendously through the experience of online collaboration.  I have gained a greater depth of understanding and knowledge through this online learning environment.  In addition to collaboration greatly affecting the way I learn, technology has allowed me to have connections with information globally.  It is available just about any time and any place. Networking today allows easier access and expands the learning boundaries of my education.
Which digital tools best facilitate learning for you?

The digital tools that best facilitate learning for me has been the tools that have allowed me to collaborate with my professors and learning communities. I have used chat rooms, Skype, wiki, blogs, classroom discussion areas, Gmail discussions and email.  I believe these tools have provided a greater experience with collaboration than I once had in my face to face campus setting.  I have also gained a wealth of knowledge through the online resources Walden University has provided through course related videos. These have been accessible on line and can be viewed many times and shared with others in my field. These experiences have been very valuable. In addition to these tools, students and professors have shared links to information and resources that have been important to my course outcomes and application of knowledge in relationship to my career.  

How do you learn new knowledge when you have questions? 

I have felt very comfortable asking questions of my instructor or classmates through the use of class cafĂ©, email, Skype and discussion areas.  I have had many of my initial questions answered through reading my classmates blog post, wiki post and discussions.  Very often my professor or peers will touch on a topic or address an angle of information that is puzzling to me.  I am also amazed at how easy questions or areas of interest can be addressed through online search engines.  This one particular area has changed tremendously since I began my journey of college education many years ago.  Today, I can place a word or phrase in Google and an enormous amount of related topics and information becomes available.  Wow!  This is a major step forward in research tools as compared to my earlier years of walking all over campus and making ten phone calls.

I have post to Martha Bless and Tony T.'s blog.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reflection on Rheingold's Video

 Module 3
Reflection on Rheingold’s Video

Do you believe that humans have a basic instinct to “interact and work as a group,” as Rheingold proposed in his discussion of the evolution of Wikipedia as a collectively developed encyclopedia?
Rheingold (2008) begins the video enlisting the audience in helping him reshape the story of how humans and other creatures get things done.  He states that a new story is beginning to emerge.  Cooperation, collective actions and complex interdependencies play much more of a role today than the role of competition and survival of the fittest.  He elaborates on the time he spent thinking about the relationship between communication media and collective action.   Human communication media and how we evolve socially have been going on for a long time.  He provides examples of small family groups and how the hunters brought down the game.  These hunters formed together to hunt bigger game.  He adds that you can’t hunt mastodons and be fighting with the group of hunters.  He believes some form of communication and collaboration must have been involved.  He remarks on how the first cities came with the growth of agriculture.  The people made marks in clay in order to keep a count on taxes. Soon after this time frame the alphabet was formed.  Advances in communication came with the creation of the printing press.  According to Rheingold (2008), the printing press caused spread of collaboration and the alphabet was no longer just for the elite. New forms of wealth emerged.  Finally, he discusses technology used today.  He states that technologies used today are based on the internet.  Every desktop in our society is equipped with some form of printing press.   I agree with Rheingold in his views of technology rapidly speeding its progress day by day.  Rheingold believes we will soon see the majority of the human race holding, carrying or wearing super computers.  I also agree with Rheingold in his thoughts that people have always had a need to interact.  I believe humans do have a basic instinct to interact and work as a group.  This has been the case since the beginning of time.  We have always had a need to share and communicate with someone.
How can technology facilitate collaboration among learners based on constructivist principles?

Technology can facilitate collaboration among learners in many ways.  In viewing the constructivist perspective, technology offers multiple ways of learning and interacting with others.  Technology addresses the concepts of constructivism through learning goals, conditions for instruction, and methods of instruction (Driscoll, 2005).  There are wealth of technology tools that provide us with the opportunity to share our ideas, express our differences and similarities and elaborate on our discoveries.  These tools include, but are not limited to Wikipedia, blog, wiki, email and Skype.

Find a current research study that has been conducted in the last 5 years that supports collaboration as an effective tool for learning. Include the link and reference for this study in your blog.
The study listed and retrieved from the above site was conducted at the Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools by Fred Newmann and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin.  2,128 students were involved.  Students were found to have significantly higher achievement on challenging tasks when they were taught with inquiry-based teaching, showing that involvement leads to understanding.  These practices were found to have more impact on student performance than any other variable, including student background and prior achievement.
I have seen first-hand how collaborative, inquiry-based teaching affects all learners.  Creating collaborative groups made up of students from a variety of backgrounds, with different levels of knowledge, benefits all learners. Our human race naturally has the desire to share and communicate in order to gain new knowledge, generate new thoughts and make connections with our existing knowledge.


Barron, B. and Hammond, L. (2008). Powerful Learning: Studies Show Deep Understanding Derives from Collaborative Methods Retrieved from
Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed). Boston MA:  Pearson Education, Inc.
Rheingold, H. (2008, February). Howard Rheingold on collaboration. Vodcast posted to   
 I have commented on thes post: 

 Curtiss Vavra, Cheryl Carroll and Sandra Dykes