Learning Theories – Overview and Synthesis (#MSLFM11)

What is a Learning Theory?How do humans construct meaning and what motivates us to learn is what learning theories postulate. As our understanding of ourselves changes, be it because of advances in neural science, psychology, sociology, or changes in the environment like availability of abundant information or threat to our very survival, our view of ‘why’ and ‘how’ of learning also changes, leading to new learning theories being postulated.Why is it important to understand Learning…

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Learning Experience and Cognitive Processing Theory

The following graphic sums-up how knowledge of cognitive processing theory can help us gain deeper understanding. The graphic is based on learning framework suggested by Howard Gardner.A topic or discipline should be introduced from multiple perspectives, with different analogies and diverse representations because learners have different types of intelligences (Gardner's Multiple Intelligences theory). Assessment too should be based on different types of performance opportunities to facilitate different intelligences. Following are some thoughts based on cognitive…

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Thoughts on Thought Leadership in Education

My thoughts on 'Thought Leadership’, especially in the context of education. Leadership is about influencing others and in the case of Thought Leadership in Education, I believe, it is about influencing others with your ideas of constitutes good education. This thinking has direct bearing on me because I am keen on influencing others about how the information technology revolution has placed us in the midst of a paradigm shift, just like advent of language, writing…

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NextGen Learning Platform (#MSLFM11)

The NextGen Learning Platforms should facilitate - Curation, Contextualization, Collective Wisdom, Conversations and Personalization. Ideally the platform should have these features built-in, but there are always new third-party tools coming up that perform these functions better. Hence, either the platform should have the capability to integrate new third-party tools. Even without a learning platform that provides these features, learner can use use tools like Diigo and features like ‘hashtag’ collation and sharing to bring coherence…

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A Learning Framework for the Digital Age

Web-based learning is emerging as the second strand of education, where the teacher or parent becomes a learner facilitator, the web becomes the classroom and the learner becomes increasingly autonomous. Borrowing from different learning theories this presentation suggests a learning framework for the digital age. A Learning Framework for the Digital Age

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Behavioural Economics and Learning Theory (#MSLFM11)

Economics is better defined as a study of incentives that guide or determine human behaviour. Nobel Laureate, Daniel Kahneman, laid down the foundation of behavioural economics. Elinor Ostrom work on Social Commons got her a Nobel. Behavioural Economics and Social Commons view is the new direction economics is taking and both these trends can also be extrapolated to the field of education. Social Commons in the field of education include Wiki, MIT-OCW and initiatives like…

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Teachers or Learner Facilitators? (#MSLFM11)

Can we distinguish the 'functions' of a good teacher from the 'form' of a teacher (form vs function - a table has certain essential functions but can take many forms). If so, can the 'functions' of a teacher be delivered in 'forms' beyond what we usually conceive of as a 'teacher'?I recently visited some remote parts of India where teachers are scarce but mobile phone and Dish TV is common (which I think will also…

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Guns, Germs and Steel…Digital Divide and Self-learning Skills

Guns, Germs and Steel… what next?According to Prof Jared Diamond, author of the book ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’, roots of inequality amongst human societies lie not in superiority of one gene pool over another, instead guns, germs and steel determine inequality.Natural geographical advantages made agriculture possible in some areas of earth like in the fertile-crescent of the Middle East (Sumerian civilization). Instead of a nomadic way of life of hunting and gathering for food, humans…

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