Learning preferences change with time

Last week’s reading from Bates talks about the unique pedagogical differences between text, audio, video, computing, and social media. When I started reflecting on the Bates
chapter and the blog prompt question, “what are your learning preferences when it comes to digital resources (e.g., print, audio, video, other)?” It stopped me dead in my tracks. It made me think back to my personal struggles with learning in K-12.  So this is really a loaded question for me to answer as I feel it has changed over the years.  So if you have time and want to hear my personal story here it goes.

Photo Credit: Graham Coreil-Allen Flickr via Compfight cc

As a young child in school, learning did not come easy for me. I struggled with learning and behavioral issues in my middle years which carried over into high school. I was not interested in school and wanted to be a social butterfly. Well if you know me, this would probably not shock you at all.

Photo Credit: mitchell haindfield Flickr via Compfight cc

I continually was being assessed for a learning disability, which was never identified. It was just concluded I was a “bad” kid that was struggling with learning. In high school I was able to figure this out more for myself. I think maturity, respect and an interest in learning started to help with this shift. The struggle was still there because I was not interested in “what” I was learning and I still wanted to be a social butterfly.

Stephanie’s blog talked about having a choice in what material to read in school to engage the learner. I do think that having a choice in the material you read does play a large part in your engagement of the material and learning. You have to hook students with Image result for hook clipartwanting to read and learn before getting them to read material they might not want to read (ie: history – not my choice).

In high school, the only class that may have been of interest to me was biology. However, that teacher and I did not get along so I just found myself spending more time in the office than in the classroom learning. However, when I was there I remember him showing one cool video. More specially, this was about the structure and function of the heart.

cow heart

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The video was primarily a visual and auditory (from what I remember) of someone dissecting a cow’s heart. I found this a powerful way to learn and believe this were my love for the human body started. Thank you Bio30.

I left high school still not knowing what I was going to do with my life and thought I was too dumb to go to university. I always had dreams of becoming a nurse but never thought I would have be able to.

After upgrading some grade 12 classes I was accepted into Bow Valley College to become a licensed practical nurse. Nursing, the human body and caring for people was something I wanted to be learning about and became very passionate about.  I worked hard to understand what kind of a learner I was and used as many resources as possible to help me learn. I remember trying to get a program (cannot recall the name of it) to help read my textbook to me.Image result for read to me However, I just found myself wasting hours of time trying to figure out the program. Therefore, I just found myself reading chapters over and over until I understood it. My notes would turn into pictures. I would talk myself through a concept while drawing it out to better understand something.

I have placed the above video to show how my notes would look. However, YouTube was not known to me at that time and many of the resources we have now were not available. Despite all the odds, I excelled in this program and my passion for learning was evident.

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I now ask myself, did I find what interest me to learn or did I find my learning style? Was my lack of interest in school the problem all along? Or was it something else? Learning Styles Photo Credit: London Permaculture Flickr via Compfight cc

As I have progressed with age, more education and now teaching, I find myself using more digital technology to help with my learning and teaching strategies. I would have to say that my learning preferences have changed several times over the years because of the changes with technology. However, as of right now when it comes to my preferences with digital resources I cannot just pick one or two, I prefer a combination of them all. This was even more evident when I found my new love for Khan Academy. The video below would have truly helped me gain a richer understanding of complex content such as a myocardial infarction shown in this video. Within this video, they draw pictures and use words while explaining the content verbally. This why this would be my learning preference when it comes to digital resources.

Videos like this one would have been life changing for me in nursing school and I would have benefited greatly from it. However, I do find myself now using these video resources during my instruction with nursing students and have received positive feedback.

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I do agree with Adam Krammer when he said,

“video use should be a supplemental learning and teaching tool, but should not be the sole learning/teaching tool.”

We as educators need to ensure we are still “teaching” and not just relying on YouTube video’s to educate our students.

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Are you using Khan Academy? Is this your learning preference when it comes to a good digital resource with audio, visual and text? What else do you use?