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Andrew Skalet

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

I thought the most interesting part about the article was the modern approach to learning. The observation that a deep understanding of concepts will help people learn new concepts in the future resonates with me.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

Nothing, really. I thought the article was concise, well written, and interesting.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

I think the main message of the article is that since people base their learning on knowledge and understanding they have obtained in the past, it is very important for teaching to move past simple memorization of facts in the classroom environment. People must have a strong framework of understanding through which they may understand new topics.

3. analyze and describe how you have learnt "Microsoft Word" (or a similar system incase you have never learnt MS-Word)

I have learned Microsoft Word over several versions. I think the basic functionality of the system (typing in the editor) was self-evident to me by the typewriter metaphor I had constructed. I have learned additional features by searching around for them, largely by trial and error, when my needs have demanded a particular feature.

4. speculate of all the "information/knowledge" which you have today – how you have learnt it?; give a brief description of the two most interesting episodes

I am a very visual person, so I have learned much of my information/knowledge by observing objects or graphical representations of objects or concepts. One example is that I have learned very much about how automobiles work by viewing diagrams of their mechanical systems, and disassembling and reassembling these systems in the physical world. Accompanying descriptions have been helpful, but not as important. Similarly, I think many of the knowledge areas in which I hold great depth in computer science have been cemented by real world experience. In the case of programming language features, my true understanding has come from observing how these features actually work on a real computer, and in the case of software team collaboration, I have learned the most from being a part of a team and observing the nature of the collaboration.

5. write in one short paragraph (a) what the following concepts means and (b) which role they have played in your learning (e.g., where you have encountered them)

5.1. learning by being told (meaning, personal relevance)

a) This is plain lecture. A person who is supposed to know something tells you about some concept.

b) Much of my educational career has centered around this type of teaching, but I think little of my learning has.

5.2. self-directed learning (meaning, personal relevance)

a) A research project is a good example of this. I think even reading assignments for a course can fall into this category, since although the pages are assigned, the learner directs his/her self in their interpretation and understanding of the material.

b) This type of learning gives the learner more freedom to choose the material that matches their framework of knowledge. I have learned very much in this way, by researching supporting information to concepts I am attempting to learn, to bridge the gap between the desired knowledge and my existing knowledge framework.

5.3. discovery learning (meaning, personal relevance)

a) Discovery learning might be best represented by a demonstration made by a teacher or professor, for example to show a specific concept in Physics. The student is positioned to make a "discovery" about the world.

b) Demonstrations and other discoveries have been a very powerful part of my learning experiences. This has been one of the most effective methods for me, and having taken Physics from professors who place priority on discovery, Physics was made easy for me.

5.4. experiental learning (meaning, personal relevance)

a) I would say experiential learning differs from Discovery learning in that the student must be directly interacting with the desired concept.

b) experiences have been a very effective learning method for me and probably everyone else. Human beings are "built" to learn through experience, and my earlier example of disassembling and reassembling automobiles is a good example of how experiential learning has worked well for me.

5.5. informal learning (meaning, personal relevance)

a) informal learning is learning that is not directly assigned or motivated by an authority on learning.

b) I have learned much about my hobbies and about how to interact socially and with objects in the world through informal learning. It has probably been the strongest formative force in how I interact with other people and the physical world day-to-day.

5.6. collaborative learning (meaning, personal relevance)

a) collaborative learning exists when many people attempting to achieve a particular goal contribute to each other's learning process.

b) for me, collaborative learning has not been very effective in an academic environment. Working with groups in school has always been frustrating some ways, and I don't feel it has helped me to learn more than I could have individually. On the other hand, collaborative learning in a professional software development environment has been extremely effective for me, far more effective than any other way of discovering the functionality of a large software system.

6. which media have you used for your learning?

I have used printed articles and books, learned from lecturers and demonstrators, lately learned much from web searches (while doing sanity checks on that information with my existing knowledge), and learned by interacting with objects in the world. In my professional and academic experience, I have learned much through creating and interacting with the media of software.

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