Back with some thoughts regarding the first assignment for CTL 1608:
What do you currently understand learning to be--for yourself and for your students if you teach?
I understand learning to be the assimilation, or synthesis of knowledge and experience within the context of social interaction and interdependence.
I think I'd call myself a "social constructivist" and would describe my view of learning as an amalgam of Constructivist/Constructivism, and Social Development. What this means for myself as a learner, and for my students, is that I understand the importance of supporting online learners (providing "scaffolds" or encouraging "zones of proximinal development" as Vygotsky calls them) and providing a "safe" environment for learning. This is especially difficult to gauge in online learners and one needs to be vigilant to ensure "inclusiveness" in online environments.
Why do you hold those views, both for yourself and for your students?
I hold these views because it seems obvious to me that learning is something that takes place in social settings, be they face-to-face or online and that "social connections" between teacher and student, and among students, is where "real learning" takes place.
What role does knowledge play in learning?
I view "knowledge" to be the "building blocks" of learning. While there's no escaping the importance of knowledge itself, I think it is something that needs to develop within the social context of the course or "thing to be learned." I believe that experience also plays a role in how "knowledge" is synthesized, or incorporated into "learning."
What role do others play in your learning
I think it is truly impossible to underestimate the importance of "others" in any learning environment. Indeed, without others I think it is impossible to effectively validate "what's been learned." Indeed, I'll go as far as to say that learning requires if not the input, at least consideration of others.
As you can see, I've got a bit of work to do before I submit this assignment to the course discussion space for next semester's section of CTL 1608. The good news is that I have until the 17th of next month to get it "ready for prime time."
As always, watch this space for details....