In the past, I have been hesitant to call myself a constructivist teacher as I believed I relied too much on academic knowledge rather than experiential learning. This had led to a resistance to bring technology into my teaching, as it was an aspect upon which I had little control. The TPI was an eye opener, showing a focus on connection and holistic teaching to that of ‘traditional’ teaching (transmission). My time within a Kindergarten classroom for 6 months caused, what I thought was a massive shift in my teaching. Learning through play and experience were the focus of my classroom rather than right or wrong answers and worksheets. Each student was encouraged to do the best that they were able to do. My experience as a case manager for students within the secondary school has greatly influenced my teaching as well. While this student-driven focus fits within the realms of constructivism, with its focus on scaffolding, Bates’ inclusion of Siemen’s characteristics of Connectivism provide a clearer picture of my teaching and views of technology within it.
“Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning”
Technology allows for further connections beyond the local, which is of great importance for students of the 21st century. Isolated communities and diverse populations are no longer limited to physical resources and can access information from the wider world. I am a facilitator that provides an environment in which learners can create their own connections and learn from each other. This is in line with Tondeur (2016) and how constructivists view technology “as a way to motivate teachers to experiment, implement, and refine new approaches to teaching and learning”. This is how I currently see my teaching and the realm in which I want to continue growing.