From the emerging learning theories of the last century come a few that can be applied to Blended Learning and Online Learning. Constructivism and Constructionism both build knowledge on students’ experiences. One derives its meaning from dialogue, whether internal or external, however it is accomplished through verbal interactions. Constructionism on the other hand is derived from the construction of something tangible. In other words, students construction meaning by building something and it is usually something tangible.
When working this week on our Partner assignment, I was partnered with another classmate and our goal was to make a learning plan on Prezi to teach someone how to use prezi. My partner and I were to communicate on the wiki and through any other means to create a single prezi together. Working on this assignment proved to be harder than we anticipated and we found ourselves having to rethink our ideas several times, we found ourselves having to compromise back and forth about what to include on the prezi without making it too detailed. The idea was not to teach someone how to use prezi but to include the basics to get anyone started on the platform.
Because we were both new or relatively new to prezi, we both constructed our knowledge of the online tool as we created slides to add to our presentation. Different aspects of our project stayed with us because of the emotion that accompanied learning the tool. In other words, it was through the struggle of learning it, the anxiety of not being sure what we were supposed to do and how to properly create our prezi without costing each other points. Had we realized to connection to learning theories, we would have been more aware and probably ruined the fun of the struggle.
In essence, this assignment and the anxiety it produced proved to help us as students, as educators. It allowed us to step into students’ shoes and reflect on what they go through as they do collaborative assignments, giving us insights as to possible roadblocks and how to handle them. It also allowed us to grow as educators because it allowed us to struggle through an assingment, something that as educators we rarely get to do anymore. From this experience I can say that this assignment is closest related to Constructionism. The product of our learning, collaborating, delegating, compromising and overall construction of our own learning can be seen through our final product, our prezi. Here is the link of our prezi if you would like to take a look.