Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Connectivism and Social learning in Practice

Huranan Byrd blog 5 

                                                                             Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

Have you ever met many someone who struggle with socially interacting with their peers, friends, co-workers etc?  Social learning is important because people learn new behaviors through observation.  Furthermore in my experience with social learning, students have learned how to interact with other students though past learned behaviors.  For example I work with students that are emotionally disturbed and one of my students tends to use a lot of profanity when he is talking to his peers.  This behavior had to be learned while interacting with his friends when he was young or he may have learned that behavior through living in community or home.  Basically the students culture or background can play a role in how a student may act or interact with his peers, co -workers etc.

In this week course resources we learned about social constructivism theory and how it suggests that student knowledge is constructed first in a social context and that social context is shared with other individuals.  When students began to collaborate with each other the results in learning is constructing or building understanding through social learning.

The instructional strategy for this week is cooperative learning.  Cooperative learning focus on having students interact with each other in groups thus enhances their learning.   Cooperative learning, “provides an environment where students can reflect upon newly acquired knowledge, process what they are learning by talking with and actively listening to their peers and develop common understanding about topics” (Pitler, Hubbell, and Kuhn, 2012, p13).
Partnering up also helps the weaker students because they are then given extra support from their classmates. The strong students would be considered the more knowledgeable other that Dr. Orey describes when discussing the zone of proximal development and how students leaner the most when they have that person in the classroom who may be the most knowledgeable such as a teacher” (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).

Last, I really like the idea of using social learning in the classroom to get students to learn.  First students are given the opportunity to share their opinions or point of view with other students in a collaborative environment.  Next, with the technology advancements students can now use social networks such as the one discussed in the resources to develop social learning.

Hiraman Byrd VT address:


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program eight: Social learning theories

Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, Howard, Elizabeth R. Hubbell, and Matt, Kuhn.  (2012).  Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works.


  1. Hiraman,

    I agree with you that one of the important aspects of social learning is that student can learn new behaviors by observing one another. Learning from the perspectives, learning styles, understandings, and characteristics of peers can help learners develop new behaviors, knowledge, and skills, but this interaction also serves as emotional support. When students must confront teachers with their misunderstandings or the entire class they may feel stressed. According to Palmer, Peters, & Streetman (2003) the opportunity to work in small groups provides a safe, nurturing environment for students to voice their opinions, receive feedback on their ideas, and avoid fear of embarrassment because solutions come from the group rather than the individual.

    As you have suggested, helping one another learn the content benefits both weak and stronger students. This may especially be evident when students collaborate together on multimedia or technology-based projects. Within these projects each student has a role, they help one another understand the content, and make the project well designed by having the opportunities to demonstrate their diverse skills which may not be evident in lecture based classrooms. According to Yager in regular classrooms students may not have the opportunity to defend their reasoning, in small groups these cultural and individual differences have the opportunity to be understood (as cited in Palmer et al., 2003). There are numerous great technology resources which can be used to create cooperative and collaborative learning opportunities for students and these technologies are very engaging for students in classrooms today.

    Teaching students how to work together and learn from one another through social learning tools is important, to not only help meet the needs of all students, but to help prepare them for the twenty-first century global workforce. Pitler, Hubbell, & Kuhn (2012) have suggested that teachers need to provide their students with opportunities to collaborate and cooperate in a structured environment, with individuals from anywhere in the world, on projects that require diverse skills and knowledge. These opportunities can provide students with skills they will need for the twenty-first century workforce and lifelong learning, as well as help to build a connection between student home environments and academics.


    Palmer, G., Peters, R., & Streetman, R. (2003). Cooperative learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved July 28, 2013 from

    Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

  2. Thank you for your comments I do agree with you about social learning and how if student learn this skill they will be able to be more prepared for the 21st century.

    Thank you for the post-