Welcome to my third and final Network Learning Project blog post. Throughout this project I have utilized a variety of YouTube videos and help forums to learn landscaping skills that have helped me transform our flowerbeds from weed havens into thoughtfully designed arrangements of plants and flowers. In the video below you can observe how this transformation took place, and my hope is that you will see the value networked learning can bring to nearly any situation where learning and/or understanding is the goal.
I enjoyed the freedom this assignment allowed me as I was able to choose a skill to learn that I have been wanting to learn for years. The network learning portion of the assignment permitted me to research criteria for my specific situation. In the beginning I explored too many videos and help forum images to count. This research helped me see all the options out there and also helped me narrow down options that fit my particular taste. I eventually found a series of videos from the Lowes Home Improvement YouTube Channel that focused on low maintenance landscaping, but also produced a beautiful landscape. Now that my project is complete, I will not have to worry about whether there will be color in the garden throughout the seasons, how I am going to mow near the edging and if my plants and flowers are going to live year after year. Please view the embedded video to find out more about how I utilized networked learning to recreate my landscape.
Thanks to the success I have had, I will certainly encourage the students I work with and others to explore networked learning in the future. In my current position, the ability to empower others increases my resources. Whether its time, money or equipment, empowering others to take ownership can be value added for everyone. Through my experience I have found that sharing networked learning strategies will be a valuable asset in my teaching toolbox. As we have explored with Thomas and Brown (2011), it is more important for our 21st century students to know how to find information rather than storing and recalling all of the information from memory. Instead of giving answers, I will ask students to research questions on their own.
As a learner myself, I use and will continue to frequently use similar methods of learning at work and at home to build knowledge and understanding. Not only is the information available instantaneously, but it comes in different forms to fit preferences for specific situations. Depending on my goals I have the ability to search for audio, videos, images, text or ask questions of my own. One challenge of this method is verifying validity, but thanks to all the information out there, it just takes a little extra footwork to receive a second option.
Lowes Home Improvement. (2016) YouTube Channel. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/user/Lowes
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace?.