Mapping Learning Connections

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It s hard to be leave in just 3 weeks I will have completed my second graduate course. One step closer to my career goal in the field of instructional design. There were several topics discussed this week, one in particular was the the Adult learner and the distance learning environment.  We were  all at one point the traditional student, we went to school everyday, entered a classroom with a teacher, and anywhere between 25-30 classmates. The face- to-face interaction with others, and the connection with the teacher is important to the young learner because it is building the foundation for them to create who they are as a learner.  A lot of us do not all get to stick to the traditional path of attending the traditional university, life happens and we are forced to take alternative routes to reaching educational goals. The vehicle of technology had afforded us working adults an opportunity to start, complete, or continue a higher education.  Although distance learning has been around for years, it has recently started to make a big mark in education. When we decide to enter a distance learning program, as adults we are intimidated most times because we do not know what to expect. As an adult learner that is currently in a distance learning program, I am here to say to my fellow comrades, that we will face challenges in everything thing we do. The traditional classroom has the benefit of physical social engagement, while distance learning doe not; however I feel that this has no affect on you and the type of learner you are as an adult. Remember your learning style foundation, and use that a guide. Pull you resources together to help you. The mind map, is a great tool to organize thoughts, your plan, and resources. The mind map can be used to help you stay motivated, and as reminder of what ones goal is.  The challenges I faced in distance learning course, were not the fact that I was not motivated, more that time was never on my side. More and more I had to learn sacrifice.  Today I know myself as a learner, and I know that I have a guide for challenging days and I may forget who, what,and where to go for assistance.  Build a network, my network has changed the way I learned because I have changed my network. I look to the experienced and knowledgeable individuals that can guide me along on my journey. I have been able to organization between my network, education and school, social and lifestyle. I had designed my network to fit my specific needs in my life.  The best digital tool that facilitates learning for me is the internet, and more specific Google. There is nothing I have not been able to find. It is a great resource that I can go to from anywhere, computer, iPad, or iPhone.  Connectivism is said to integrate technology, social works and the learning environment; with my network, supports the central tenants of connectivism because it reach a broad avenue of learning needs. My life goal, educational and career goals are all wrapped up together, my network can be looked at a a chameleon, one resource and be used to guide me through 4 different things.  I heard a saying you network determines your net worth, while the financial reward can  be a motivator the satisfaction of completing life long goals is more, but I would not cheat myself.  My network will always be a vital part of my learning.

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