My immediate internal response after reading Exploring the use of blogs as learning spaces in the higher education sector, was "Hey I am doing this right now!".  After that moment of epiphany I began to review my own present and past experiences with learning outside of the traditional classroom environment.  My past experiences with online and correspondence education have been less than enjoyable mostly due to my total unwillingness to "buy in" to the program, but also because I was taking the course in order to get a good grade.  Since that time I feel as though I have matured and am now mentally prepared and have the right motivation in order to use online education the way it was meant to be used.  
    Like I stated in the previous paragraph I have had less than amicable experiences with the internet and my education.  First and foremost I was not a "techy" type of guy and therefore did not care for using a computer unless I was looking up sports scores, downloading music or surfing the web.  Other than that I really didn't care to be on the computer and would rather be doing something else.  So when it came time for me to take part in an online class over the summer(in order to stay on track for graduation), thrilled or motivated would not be two words I would use in order to describe my mindset on the matter.  I ended up passing the class, but it was a complete nightmare because I waited until the last week to complete a month's worth of work.  Looking back, that class was a total failure because of the way that I approached it.  I feel now that I have learned from my mistakes and am now mature enough for online education because I am interested in the "process of learning" more than the overall outcome or grade.  This course has already had a major impact on my learning because it has forced me to get out of my comfort zone and engage in activities that I, in the past, wouldn't normally be a part of and wouldn't flourish in.  This is great for me because I have to focus so hard on the process of every aspect that I don't even worry about the end result.
    Even though I have matured enough to be able to embrace the online classroom setting I don't really follow much on the internet aside from the Oakland Athletics, the San Francisco 49ers and the PGA Tour.  I am able to keep track of them through multiple media outlets now due to advances in technology so I am able to get notifications from the internet on my phone at the drop of a hat.  Whether I will be happy or sad after I receive said news is another story as can be the case when you follow the teams that I do.
    There are multiple facets of the internet that have really helped me with my learning.  The most helpful internet tool that has helped my learning is the ability to have multiple resources at my fingertips whenever I want.  This has not only helped me with the content of my work, but also the time in which my work is completed.  Schoolwork can be a tedious task at times and it keeps you motivated to work when you are able to find all of the information that you need by just clicking a mouse.  To branch off of the use of resources the internet has helped me the most recently through my discussion forums.  Here I am able to see the approaches that other students in my class have taken on different issues and then comment on their response and ask them why they took that stance.  Through collaboration I am able to broaden the approaches that I take to future assignments.  The internet, at times does distract me from learning as well.  There are times when I will go onto Youtube looking for a video and end up getting side tracked by interesting or stupid videos for twenty minutes because there will be more videos on the suggested videos feed on the side that peak my interest.  I'm sure (or hope) that I am not the only one to have ever fallen victim to this.  
    All in all the internet has had an overall positive impact on my learning.  I believe that can be said about all forms of technology because they were all put in place to aid me in my learning and in the world that we live in today it was inevitable that their paths would cross.  We live in a world where every aspect of life is largely impacted by technology and in learning that can be a good thing.  Technology will continue to have a great impact on learning as long as it is used as a median for learning and

 


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    Kyle Wise

    I am 25 years old, in my 3rd season as an assistant baseball coach at the Junior College level and love guiding young adults as they chase down their dreams.

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