The more I learn, the less I know.

Theories do not stand for all time (Ormrod, 2009), and in my case, my theory on how I learn has changed on a weekly basis.  Whereas before I thought that I could just classify my life into different boxes, I now feel that we are constantly learning and making decisions on an unconscious level, many of which we may not cognitively understand.

I think that I would tend to prefer constructivism, in general, because it acknowledges that importance on unobservable events on human behavior (Jenkins, 2006) and allows more room for creativity.  Even now, I have been able to apply this knowledge to my own workplace environment.  Some of my co-workers and I have wrestled with trying to understand how certain individuals are able to blatantly lie and attack people while continuing to think that they are very peaceful citizens of the church.  However, because of this class I feel that I can see how someone can have a compulsive lying disorder (Esposito, 2014) and yet not even realize it.  I think it boils down to the working memory that doesn’t necessarily lead to long term memory but is later dumped (Ormrod, 2009).

Another way my thoughts have changed is in understanding that there are possibly numerous intelligences that are not given the proper credit in our society.  We read that certain individuals have difficulty remembering faces, but can recall what was said (Armstrong, 2009).  I have a very similar problem in that I can remember faces but have difficulty remembering names.  While I was raised to think that my abilities made me superior to others, I now have a different perspective that everyone is equal in value when it comes to being useful to society.  I guess that way of thinking would classify me as an Egalitarian (Arneson, 2013).

As for the way technology affects learning, I think it’s most valuable impact in our world will be in changing the way we pass on information.  Accessibility to the Internet is sparking profound changes in traditional teaching methods (Consortium, 2014), and I think we have only caught a glimpse of what this new way of sharing and preserving knowledge will enable us to accomplish in the future.  However, in order to embrace that future, I think we need to realize that it will come with a cost.  We will have to let go of the old way of doing things and adapt ourselves to embrace these changes.

From this class, we have studied about different learning methods and how they can help us to learn more effectively.  The hard part, for me, will be taking this knowledge and applying in to my daily life in order to become a better person.  Unfortunately, there is no pill for effort, and so our success or failure in the future will most likely continue to rely on us as individuals “punching the clock” (Kipfer, 2007).

References:

Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M.  (2009).  Learning theories and instruction.  New York:  Pearson.  Course Text.

Jenkins, J.  (2006).  Constructivism.  Encyclopedia of educational leadership and administration.  Retrieved from http://knowledge.sagepub.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/view.edleadership/n121.xml

Esposito, K.  (2014).  Compulsive Lying Disorder.  Lovetoknow.  Retrieved from http://addiction.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Compulsive_Lying_Disorder.

Armstrong, T.  (2009).  Multiple intelligences in the classroom.  Alexandria, VA.  Retrieved from the Walden Library database.

Arneson, R.  (2013).  Egalitarianism.  Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/egalitarianism/.

The New Media Consortium.  (2014).  NMC Horizon Report >2014 K-12 Edition.  The New Media Consortium Publications.  Retrieved from http://www.mnc.org/publications.

Kipfer, B., Chapman, R.  (2007).  punch the clock.  Dictionary.com.  Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/punch+the+clock.

Standard

Technology in the Lab

When I first stepped into the laboratory, it was with combat boots on and I was already tired from an early morning run.  Physical Education (or PT) is big in the military, and it seems to have been that way since Roman times (Sieden, n.d.)  However, it didn’t seem to help me much in learning about the lab, specifically because many times there wasn’t enough time to study the material because of all the exercise.

Fortunately, the internet has been there for those of us who struggled to furnish answers for physicians without the proper training.  Whereas in older times soldiers would rely on outdated books to understand lab theory in the field, now I can look up stuff on my phone, tablet, or desktop at the push of the button.  With almost all computer networks having access to the internet, it is in many ways faster to just google the information.

However, using a search network is just one way of finding a solution to the problems we face on a daily basis.  Another tool is using company websites to find out information about a product.  Just the other day, we were trying to see when a product expired after it was opened.  After seeing there was no packet insert, I just went to the company’s website to find out (Beckman, 2014).  Not only that, but I can also call their 24 hour customer service hotline if I am unable to find it on the web.  It makes me wonder what people did to fix things before all this technology.

Although I do admit to google being my favorite solution finder, many times I have to go to other scientists to answer my questions.  Just the other day, there was some confusion as to how to calculate the 24 hour urine results.  I assumed that Sodium was calculated the same way that Creatinine was.  However, one of my co-workers was able to show me why they were different because she had earned a degree in Chemistry.  Even after all these years, she retained a competitive edge simply because of her major in college.

I guess the simplest way of gaining new knowledge would be keeping the ability of having on open mind.  I think urban legends have a tendency to be popular because people don’t want to go through the actions of checking for change periodically.  For instance, our pregnancy tests switched their time for testing, and yet people still have not updated our written SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) because the section head may not have bothered to read the new instructions.  I guess that goes along with our reading in that people prevent change by only trying to do the minimum (Downes, 2014).

In conclusion, I would say that the mind map posted below supports the basic tenets of connectivism because there is no one solution when it comes to medical work.  Everything we do in the hospital is based on a team concept of seeing the medical field as a higher calling (Vanskike, 2014) to heal the sick, and that means being connected to each other and the resources available to do just that.  Otherwise, we risk hurting the patient.

References:

Sieden.  (n.d.).  The Heritage of Physical Education, Sport, and Fitness in the United States.  Mheducation.  Retrieved from highered.mheducation.com/sites/dl/free/…/Siedentop7e_ch02.pdf.

Beckman Coulter.  (2014).  Technical Documents and Support Downloads.  Bechman Coulter Inc.  Retrieved from https://www.beckmancoulter.com/wsrportal/page/techdocSearch.

Downes, S.  (2014).  Connectivism Blog.  Stephen’s Web.  Retrieved from http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?journal=3174.

Vanskike, K.  (2014).  A Higher Calling.  Providence.  Retrieved from http://washington.providence.org/health-resources/newsletters/heartbeat/featured-stories/a-higher-calling/.

Standard

Applying Learning Process Theory to Overcome Hopelessness

Watching people hold signs on the street asking for money seems to always send a wave of sympathy on my heart, as I’m sure it does a lot of people.  To see people suffering like that, I think, tends to make most people feel guilty.  Even though I now know that help is literally a phone call away for those who really want it in my area by dialing 211 (211, 2014), it still sends me back a little, and I ponder on how we can sometimes remake ourselves.

On June 20th, 2008, my career in the military officially ended.  After registering for unemployment, I realized that everything I had known to be real had been cut short due to a medical discharge.  Although I had $20,000 in cash resources, it left me no security because my job as a soldier did not totally transfer into the civilian world.  My wife and I went from living in an apartment in Germany to peeking out of a trailer in a backwoods town originally named Seatco, or the devil’s place (Thurston, n.d.)  How was I going to rebuild my life?

Looking back, I’m glad those first six months were in a town that I never have to visit again, because I was plain nuts.  They said my anxiety disorder was brought upon by six years of wartime service, and the recommendation was to stay away from all things military and all things hospital related.  But how was I supposed to support my family when I had spent the last 12 years building a career around the medical field?

But now my brain feels rewired, and I can look back and reflect on the last six years as a learning opportunity to see how a soldier with mental problems can overcome them through relearning.

I feel that one of the most important steps to getting over certain mental issues is engaging in the process of forgetting.  Although many of us have been taught to try to remember everything, I found that this can actually be destructive to the healing process.  According to people at UCLA, the way our memory dissipates over time can actually help us learn new things (Chen, 2014).  Constantly remembering the past was keeping me from moving ahead with my life, and so my mind had to learn to distract itself.

So how does a soldier turn off the destructive memories?  Cognitive psychologists theorize that humans are like computers in the way we process information (McLeod, 2008).  The article goes on to point out that in order to stop focusing on a destructive thought process, we need to distract ourselves with something else.  In my case, I focused on picking up rocks in the yard (which we were told was once a riverbed) and joining the volunteer fire department.  Nothing like crawling through burning buildings and digging in the dirt till you collapse to get your mind off of war.  Later on, my mind was able to fade away from those bad memories that were preventing me from going back into medical work, and pretty soon I was able to walk into a hospital looking for a job.  Soon after that, we were able to move and buy a house in Rochester.

Through my experience, retraining the brain to overcome a traumatic experience required a type of learning that many of us were not taught.  Being in the military, it was ingrained in my head that there was one way to do things and that was how to do it.  However, transitioning to a civilian laboratory scientist required me to disregard the one right way method and start thinking outside the box to figure out how to “solve” my own disability.  The school systems today seem to share a similar dilemma with the No Child Left Behind act (Canter, 2004).  It is theorized that part of the reason so many schools are doing poorly is because children don’t get the help they need till they are failing, which makes overcoming the issue much more difficult.  By reviewing a soldiers strengths and weaknesses, a plan can be put forth to build on those traits that are healthy in the civilian world, as well as identifying the ones that are destructive and mark them as “useless”.

So when I see a person with a sign trying to get over the past, I can recognize that maybe we need to rethink the way we view the solution.  I think that anyone who is struggling with homelessness is a wounded warrior in that game we call life.  The brain is a complicated thing, and I feel that each soldier’s journey to undoing a war is a personal journey that only he or she can undertake successfully.  But although we may not be able to do it for them, we can take our understanding of the learning process as ID people and work with our wounded helping them to redesign their lives in a more healthy way.  And then maybe they can move beyond their war, like me, and be productive citizens once again.

References:

211.  (2014). Get Connected. Get Answers. Washington Information Network 211.  Retrieved from http://win211.org/.

Thurston.  (n.d.).  Thurston County History People and Places.  Thurston County Washington.  Retrieved from http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/history/location.asp?mod=start&locid=3.

Chen, I.  (August, 2014).  How Does the Brain Learn Best?  Smart Studying Strategies.  MindShift.  Retrieved from http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/08/how-does-the-brain-learn-best-smart-studying-strategies/.

McLeod, S.  (2008).  Information Processing.  SimplyPsychology.  Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/information-processing.html.

Canter, A.  (December, 2004).  A Problem-Solving Model for Improving Student Achievement.  NASP Resources.  Retrieved from http://www.nasponline.org/resources/principals/nassp_probsolve.aspx.

Standard

My Blog Adventure

Learning about blogging was a bit of a stretch, at first.  I felt that my mind was in a salty water taffy machine for a good 3 hours as things started to come together on wordpress.com.  But I found some good information, and I’d love to share it with you.

The first blog that I came across that seemed full of good information was written by Jennie and seemed all about the importance of storytelling when it comes to instructional design.  She has a neat slide show that portrays the importance of stories to pass on information in a way that people will remember and understand.  The blog also talks about the importance of jumping right in and not boring your learning audience in order to keep people engaged.

As it looks like she herself does Instructional Design for clients, I feel that her blog is a great resource for anyone interested in consulting or creating training materials. You can find her at http://nimblenarrative.com/2014/10/31/story-based-instructional-design-session/comment-page-1/#comment-7 .

 

The next blog I would like to talk about is Shauna’s interesting take on how to respond to negative feedback.  Although I wouldn’t say exactly what was recommended in the post, it gives me an outlet for frustrations of my own when people put down all the effort I put into creating a learning resource.  Maybe I can take what she says and translate it into a creative way to get my co-workers to appreciate what we do as ID people.

Of course, she has many other informative posts to read through.  She talks about the importance of putting forth a quality product, but also reflects on how speed is vital to compete for different contracts.  I especially like her reflection on how to remember to reheat pizza from Pizza Hut.  It may seem rather silly, but I never even realized the instructions were on the box.

You can read about her adventures at http://shaunavaughan.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/10-things-instructional-designers-hate-to-hear/

 

My final post of interest was a fascinating take on the importance of audio when designing curriculum.  We live in a busy world, and there are many times that we just don’t have the time to watch a presentation.  In this post, the author talks about the importance of keeping things interesting with scripted narratives, humor, and even mock commercials.  By tying all these elements together, you can create a powerful learning tool that people can listen to anywhere they have access to a media player.

The blog goes on to share many recommendations about designing media, and with 20 years of experience in the field, I think that I need to keep this one as a reference also.  I can already envision how much easier it would be to “listen” to a funny infomercial on safety in my car, rather than to sit for 20 minutes and watch a sober slide show.

Be sure to check it out at http://enarration.com/2014/10/23/creating-audio-based-media-programs-for-learning/ .

Standard