Week 1: Instructional Design Blogs

Week 1: Resource Blogs

As I complete my first week of my first class in Learning Theories and Instruction at Walden University, I am creating this blog as a gathering spot for reference material and notes that I’ll use throughout my courses. It will include references to material on Instructional Design as it relates to both work assignments and designing information for children with Asperger’s.  As this is an accelerated program, I will be on a steep learning curve for the foreseeable future — I’m looking forward to the journey!

Learning Theory Blogs

Blog Site: Blogs About Learning Theory from the University of Scranton

This blog provides an overview of several educational blogs as well as a wealth of links to articles, videos, and blogs that expound on Learning Theory. I expect to add to my blog many more feeds gleaned from this resource.

Blog Site: Learnlets: Clark Quinn’s Learnings about Learning

Clark Quinn, the author of Learnlets, has a PhD in applied cognitive science and broad experience in technology to learning and performance. His latest posting, “Refining Designing” (2013), discusses interweaving practice with resources as part of the learning experience. Quinn is trying to “find ways to represent design that helps reduce our overemphasis on all training being about trying to put everything ‘in the head’…” (“Quinn 2013). What I took away from this posting was that we need to teach our students how to learn, how to find the information they need so they can succeed without memorizing everything. This is important in my workplace as the information needed by the clients is in a constant state of flux. Our clients need to know how to work the tools we provide so they can access the latest information immediately. According to sources quoted by Ertmer and Newby, “Constructivists emphasize the flexible use of pre-existing knowledge rather than the recall of prepackaged schemas” (Ertmer and Newby, 1993, p. 63). This needs to be the emphasis of my work project.

Quinn’s blogroll includes over 40 links to blogs about development, eide neurolearning, elearning technology, informal learning, to name just a few. I could immerse myself for days following his links.

Reference

Ertmer, P.A., & Newby, T.J. (1993). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Design Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 50-71.

Asperger’s Blogs

Blog Site: Psychology Today: Asperger’s Diary

I expect this blog to help me better understand the learning challenges of having Asperger’s as I make decisions on which theory best fits each situation in teaching those with this disorder. The purpose of this blog is to help build awareness on what it means to have Asperger’s, and to help readers understand that when the strengths of those with Asperger’s are harnessed, they have a great deal to offer the world. This blog has current, relevant information with links to additional articles and references to books that might be helpful.

The most recent posting, “Shootings, Stigma, and the Myth of Safety”, addresses the damage caused after the Newton shooting as some answered the “why” of this tragedy with one of the first things mentioned in news updates: the shooter, Adam Lanza, allegedly had Asperger’s. According to an article by Jessica Jaglois in NBC12 News Today, a hate group named “Asperger’s Prevention Campaign” popped up on Facebook. They posted “When we reach 50 likes, we will find an autistic kid and set it on fire.” Although this page has been pulled down, it shows the danger of stereotyping and of fear.

Another posting on Soraya’s blog, “When Pride Means Pain”, discusses the impact of environmental factors on her ability to learn. She did well in school during the years when she attended a school where, “I wasn’t forced into a one-size-fits-all academic program. They were able to tailor a program specifically to me, something that allowed me to thrive.” This statement motivates me to dig deeper to discover which attributes of the program helped her to thrive, as I might want to include these attributes into my own plans.

Reference
Jaglois, Jessica. Parents of children with Asperger’s concerned after Newton. NBC12 News Today. Retrieved from (http://www.nbc12.com/story/20386590/woman-with-aspergers-defends-the-condition).

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