Many theorists have explored several concepts on how learning takes place. Theorists from B.F. Skinner, Bandura, and Vygotsky have all shared their studies and beliefs of how individuals learn. Throughout these many theories, the idea that one person can be confined to one learning theory may be unrealistic. Based on experiences from an educator perspective and a student, the process of learning has changed based upon the components of the situation. Many others may share the same this same perspective.
The theory that best aligns with society from a personal angle is connectivism. Connectivism, developed by George Siemens, states that it’s theory is motivated by the rate of how information is being gathered and how it continues to change based upon the current status. (Davis, Edmunds, Kelly-Bateman, 2008) Society now is digital driven. Everything is instant and motivated from a technology perspective and how technology can improve the way of life. The methods of technology we have today will not be relevant ten years from now. As the internet is a component of connectvism, the internet has bridge a gap between the world of the unknown to being instantly informed. Such markets of the internet include Youtube, social media sites, and other resources that help people to share information.
The choice to join the ranks of education, along with many colleagues, was received through observation as a young adult. Viewing how an educator had the ability to make a difference and shape the outcomes of an individual. That’s what observation and modeling provided from a personal perspective. This would be considered part of social learning, changing ideas and behaviors based on what’s been observed, modeled or imitated. Social learning theory also allows individuals to create mental images and connections from sensory experiences as well. (Deaton, 2015)
Social learning can have negative as well as positive results. An individual may decide they want to model or imitate many of the negative behaviors they’ve been subjected to. They may or may not be aware that their exposure to such behaviors will impact their behavior and become aware that environment is critical to this aspect of the theory. From personal observations, as an educator, we often see the product of what our students’ have experienced based simply on their actions in our classrooms.
How can technology be best utilized in learning? Technology has become an intricate part of learning with adult education. Allowing learners to use technology as a tool to engage in active learning is becoming more of a necessity than a choice. All of the students that enter our program fall into the age range of “the millennials.” This age group must have that instant gratification or pleasure. In order to ensure active learning is taking place, implementing parts of connectivism, social learning, cognitivism, and behaviorism theories must all be used. For that reason, becoming a lifelong learner is essential in order to continue a career in adult learning.