Evaluating and Identifying Online Resources

The Brain

Photo Credit: MD Health

The human brain is the most complex organ in the body. Composed of 50 to 100 billion neurons, the human brain remains one of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries (MD Health, 2015). The four major lobes of the brain include the occipital, temporal, frontal, and parietal. The occipital lobe is responsible for our visual learning. It helps us to relate most effectively to written information, diagrams, and pictures. The temporal lobe is responsible for our auditory learning. How we hear information to gain new knowledge and insight during the learning process. This learning can be in the form of attending a lecture. The frontal lobe is how we connect words or objects (associations). This lobe is responsible for our logical thinking. The frontal lobe helps in our development to verbally communicate with others, and allows us to be alert about a task, our thoughts, and our emotions. The fourth and last lobe is the parietal. The parietal lobe integrates our sensory data, how we feel the different temperature in a space, to the clothes on our back. This is the lobe that helps us to function. This lobe is responsible for our sensory functions in the learning process, our senses of touch, taste, smell, and hearing. In a learning environment, how we feel can make our learning process effective or ineffective.

Brain Cells

Photo Credit: News Softpedia

The brain that controls learning is neurons. These neurons help us to process, store, retrieve, and dump information in our brains. Networks’ working collectively with neurons allows us to connect all information with individual experience or concrete experience. Understanding of the brain’s learning process; we can recall items from memory. Based on Patricia Wolfe’s article attention is the first learning process. If an individual is not motivated to learn they will shut their brain down and retain no new data. For individuals to acquire “attention,” learning must be meaningful and have an emotional hook. These two factors can help us recall items from memory.

In my military profession I learned how to operate a variety of single and double screw boats. I made a connection with the information I was learning as it made sense with my prior experience and was meaningful. The final evaluation for this course was operating the small boat in open waters. My amygdala was working overtime and my adrenaline kicked-in. It was exciting to learn a new experience and operating in a real-life scenario. According to Dr. Wolfe, some “tips and tricks” that we could use to retain and recall information as we study include repeating information or practicing a skill repeatedly; using analogies, metaphors, and similes, especially if they are associated with experiential learning; and using concrete experience? Effective, lasting learning is enhanced if adults are given opportunities to make meaning, their existing knowledge is honored, and their psychological needs are respected (Media).

Reference:

Media. “The Role of Meaning and Emotion in Learning” (Patricia Wolfe, EdD).

The Doorway to Professional Learning Communities

The advancement of technology has paved the way for instructional designers to use a variety of learning and instructional technology tools available on the Web. The host of networking platforms like Blogs and Wikis allow instructional designers to engage and collaboration with other professionals in the field. Engaged in online blogging, professionals in the field can share experiences, share resources, and discuss issues related to instructional design. According to Ferriter (2009), although reading blogs is the best way to start incorporating 21st-century tools into your plan for professional learning, writing your own blog about instruction can be equally powerful. As a new blogger, I have found three blog sites that are relevant to the field of instructional design and training for anyone interested in learning about the field or other professionals ready to engage in a blog forum.

ASTD

Photo Credit: ASTD

ASTD provides a wide range of information and resources for educators, instructional designers, and learners geared to improving their knowledge, skills, and abilities. Instructional designers can collaborate with other professionals through blogs, workshops, or in virtual communities. This site has relevant information related to instructional designers. ASTD provides a networking outlet for training professionals on a global scale. As an instructional designer this site provides me with the right resources to improve my knowledge, skills, and abilities to better serve my company and customers in developing learning solutions.

Big Dog, Little Dog

Photo Credit: Big Dog, Little Dog

Big Dog, Little Dog provides a wide range of information on leadership and training. The site provides a blog space for professionals to collaborate and share experiences and resources on leadership, training, and learning theories. Professionals can share resources and discuss issues related to instructional design or other training solutions. I enjoyed reading the post on “The Six Deadly Sins of Training,” which outlined failures that impact positive training. As an instructional designer this site provides me with a wide variety of resources that I can apply in my education and in my work environment.

UPSIDE Learning

Photo Credit: UPSIDE Learning

UPSIDE Learning is a leading provider of learning technology solutions. The company provides a host of innovative learning solutions for educators, instructional designers, and learners. Their blog site offers a wide range of information from eLearning, learning management, and mobile learning relevant to instructional designers and educators at all levels. The Instructional Design blog post offers a wealth of information and resources for instructional designers to collaborate and engage in from learning design philosophies to what motivates people to learn. As an instructional designer this site provides me with the right resources to apply to my professional field to better serve my customers in developing learning solutions.

Reference:

Ferriter, B. (2009). Learning with blogs and wikis. Educational Leadership, 66(5), 34–38.