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Genevieve Hudak
DLC - Hw 9

I found the discussion of how learning is most effective the most interesting. Especially since it is nothing like how teaching/learning is acutally done in today's classrooms. The fact that it would require a complete make-over of the system is a big challenge. But I believe that it would be an important step in improving education in American classrooms.

1.2 I found the whole article interesting.

2. The main message of the article was that the general and past approaches to knowledge and how people learn/teach have been misguided. In particular, no one way of teaching is necessarily best. Also, we must change our concepts of what it means to learn in order to help students learn better, and teachers teach better.

3. I learned to use Microsoft Word by just jumping in and using the system. However, I used to use a similar program Word Perfect for word processing, and so I took the knowledge from Word Perfect when I switched over to MW (since they are similar). I've learned more about MW just through using it, trying things, searching through the menu options, and occasionally using the help module.

4. The information/knowledge that I have today and that I have been able to retain for long periods of time I have learnt through repetition of use, as well as self-exploration. One interesting episode is that of my computer programming knowledge. The knowledge I have stays in my head because I get to use it when I program. In particular this knowledge is how 'if' statements work, what objects are, etc.

Another episode of knowledge/information that I have managed to retain is that of how to write sentences in English. This is an example of knowledge that I use everyday (writing emails, etc) and is thus sufficiently reinforced. My skills improve when I am required to write a paper for a course, and am then graded on the grammer, structure, and manner/effectiveness I have in trying to verbally express certain ideas. Take philosophy papers for example. When I write a philosohpy paper, I have to know what I think about the topic I am writing on, then I must exploit my skills in composing sentences and paragraphs that will express to the reader those ideas.

5. 1. a) Learning by being told means that someone tells me how to do something, such as how to spell a word or how to get from point A to B or how a star is created from a proto-star.
b) Learning by being told has played a part in my learning because a lot of things have been taught to me this way. However, I don't find this to be the most effective way of teaching me something that I will retain. Especially because sometimes soon after I'm told, I need to be told again because I have already forgotten (unless I wrote it down).

5.2. a) Self-directed learning to me means that I wish to learn more about something and I do what it takes to find out more about that. This can include looking up stuff on the internet, or trying to program in a new language in order to learn it.
b) This has played an important part in what I learn and what I acutally can retain. I find that if I choose to (not am forced to) do something or learn something, then I will find an approach or source to that information that is most useful to me, and therefore that has the most meaning to me, and therefore it will stay in my head.

5.3. a) Discovery learning means that I discover (through accident or self-directed learning) something that I did not know before.
b) What role it has played in my learning is i usually learn something through discovery learning that is interesting or somehow different and exciting and therefore I have a better chance of retaining that knowledge.

5.4 a) Experimental learning means learning by experiment or trial and error. This is where I don't know how to do something so I try something until that something works.
b) This is another very effective way of learning for me because not only do I discover what the correct thing to do is, but I also learn from my mistakes, and hopefully I learn why my mistakes did not work.

5.5 a) Informal learning means learning that takes place almost without knowing it, or in a non-traditional setting. For example, I informally learning language as an infant. No one sat me down and said, I'm speaking now, this is what speaking sounds like. I learned language by the mere exposure and predisposition to it.
b) This type of learning plays an important though not always obvious role in my learning overall. Though I definitly acquire much knowledge this way, a lot of it is sub-conscious, or effortless, and thus hard to assess or perhaps change in the future. Another example of this I think is behavioral learning.

5.6 a) Collaborative learning means learning through collaboration, or learning with the help or just with other people or even during discussion with other people.
b) This type of learning for me takes place in a less obvious way as well. Often during a collaborative session, or when imursed in discussion, I do learn something, most often by contributing to the dicussion and then hearing other people's thoughts. Otherwise, just listening to a discussion, especially when I cannot contribute, can also be helpful. But it is more helpful when I can acutally be involved in the discussion.

6. I have used all sorts of media for learning. Books, computers, pencil, paper, PDAs, projectors, slides, movies, radio, any tools relating to the learning task.

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