Bongu u bonswa. This is my final update about my journey into education through digital networking, and it has been a learning curve! I set out to learn purely through online sources, with a hesitation that it would be successful, but quickly learned that language learning online is highly effective, when done properly (Wright, B.A., Baese-Berk, M. M., Marrone, N., & Bradlow, A.R., 2015). I used YouTube, listening to lessons on Maltese, and have recently started watching television shows in Maltese, to learn the language. One of the things I found to be missing from my experience was the “network” which is largely because of the language I chose being so small in sample size, but now that I am moving past this project I will increase my networked learning as I include some family who are fluent in the language in my learning and practice.
I reached my goal of 80 words, barely, but realize that the goal was not a great goal, because I would rather understand more of the language than be able to practice saying the words, so going forward my focus is on learning the words without worrying about my pronunciation. I will increase the application of it, by practicing with my wife, and kids, which will help me largely in learning.
Here is a video update of my progress.
With my teaching, I have realized the practicality of technology, but more so have realized the importance of networking, in regards to learning. I struggled to “do it alone” simply becasue of the lack of online support I could find and am excited to have a real network to work with in my journey. I am excited to implement this though for other subjects of my teaching to allow students to engage in networks that they otherwise would not be able to by creating online networks in learning. Finding other individuals, online sources, and other ways to become connected to the larger network of thinking allows for deeper and faster learning, and increases the engagement of learners.
The application of this to teaching supports current thinking, to include the writing of Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown (2011) who encourage the use of information networks and teaching students how to find information online, and make the learning propcess more like play. This is accomplished by creating interactive networks online where students can find information and be involved in the learning process actively.
On a side note, learning a new language is tough, and when you are in a country that speaks a third language you also don’t know it is easy to feel overwhelmed and mixed up, the good news is that with time, practice, and patience it is possible! Ciao.
Thomas, Douglas, Brown, John Seely. (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, KY.
Wright, B. A., Baese-Berk, M. M., Marrone, N., & Bradlow, A. R. (2015). Enhancing speech learning by combining task practice with periods of stimulus exposure without practice. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 138(2), 928–937. http://doi.org/10.1121/1.4927411