Is connected learning the efficient way to go?

The emerging impact of the Internet are changing the way we live, work and entertain continuously. And education is no exception. In the past, our learning environment consists only one teacher, one classroom and one textbook. But now the Internet offers much more. We can learn whenever we want, wherever we are, and whatever we want. Connected learning, as I learn from our reading materials this week, is based on this. The idea is to use the Internet to stay connected and keep sharing information by blogging, tweeting and commenting, which is believed by a lot of people to be smart and informative.

However, is this really the efficient way to go? With so many blogs and so many posts that probably contain a large number of repetitive information, are we able to go through most of them within a limited time and get the best out of it? Wouldn’t this cause information explosion in our minds that gets us to lose the focus through the way? Take myself as an example, I always prefer to learn from real books and conduct equation derivations with a pencil and a piece of paper rather than getting on the Internet and get the answer out of it, if possible, since the former will make me focused and help me remember, while the latter can easily gets me extracted. Am I the only one?

After asking myself about these questions, further thoughts come into my mind. Maybe this specific problem is what I need to solve through connected learning, and what can be solved by connected learning. With years of research going on, I should understand by now how important the ability to search and learn is. If I stay too traditional and don’t improve this capability, I can’t take a qualitative leap in improving my efficiency at work. I need to learn more about connected learning to determine what I can get from it.

7 thoughts on “Is connected learning the efficient way to go?”

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I personally think that connected learning should be interesting for both the learner and the teacher/professor. As as example, once you get some interesting comments on your blog, you might write your next blog more enthusiastically and with more care. This also has an impact on the learner since once I as a reader see an interesting blog post, I am willing to read it and participate in that discussion. I think that the problem of not wanting to go through so many resources on the web will also be solved once connected learning is inclusive (while diverse), based upon individual interest, continuous, and respectful to the future of mentors and mentees.

  2. Thanks for sharing.

    I think it is difficult to make the change from the traditional way of learning to the contemporary one. However, we need to keep in mind that our students when we are faculty members will come with that shift. We will face students that were raised on a completely different environment that we not only need to understand but also to be prepared to adapt to it.

    Don’t get me wrong I also value to read the paper book or to solve the equation with paper and pencil some times, and by this I don’t mean that everyone must change to technology right away, however, is something that we need to understand if we want to connect with our students.

    Great post.

  3. If there is a proper system to support students – both peer and teacher support – then it could mitigate the problem of losing focus.
    More importantly, is losing focus such a bad thing? If you are learning new things within the context of the initial goal, would it not be considered as a productive learning experience?

  4. I blogged about the concerns regarding connected learning. When I read your post, I understood that there is another important concern regarding connected learning. It is “repetitive information”. Though Internet can be useful to share information, we may face to a lot of information and it may be confusing for the readers. So, if connected learning wants to be a good education system in the future, I believe that we need to design some websites for this purpose and encourage the students to refer to those websites.

  5. “With so many blogs and so many posts that probably contain a large number of repetitive information, are we able to go through most of them within a limited time and get the best out of it? Wouldn’t this cause information explosion in our minds that gets us to lose the focus through the way?”

    Can’t you say the same thing about textbooks and libraries? I think something you have omitted that is important to all seekers of knowledge is a disciplined volition. Perhaps more than ever, it is important to be able to focus as a learner and hone in on the things one really desires to know. I think connected learning is the way to go. But it will look different for different learners. The technology is just a tool; learn to adapt it to your learning style.

  6. I like your reservation on internet based learning. Like you, I am also a pretty “old schooled” learner preferring books and pens over computer and stuff. To me, hard copy materials can make you more focused and keep a clear track of what you are doing at the moment. Searching information on web can often over-whelm you with irrelevant information. They sometimes can also be distracting.
    However I think the internet can be a useful tool if one can be mindful of their goals and tasks. The most important ability is probably the one to identify the terms you want to search. You really need a positive talent for transforming the thoughts in your head into verbal expression and put them in the searching lines. This can save you a lot time. Anyway, a new choice is better than nothing, even if you may choose not to use it.

  7. I agree with you. That is a big problem. As I mentioned in my post, I think the connected learning should be used to make students interested in the topics and it should not be used instead of the traditional system. A combination of the traditional system and connected learning may help to eliminate the problem you mentioned here.

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