Reflections Through the Connections

Reflections Through the Connections

Throughout this course, many of the concepts and theories that have been covered have had a significant impact on my personal and professional life. The concepts I connected most with were social context, motivation and emotions and hidden games.

Motivation and Emotion

Motivation and Emotions play an important part of my personal and professional life. These concepts go hand in hand in fulfilling my goals life. Through our readings, the roles of motivation and emotions really connected with me through Houde’s (2006) socioemotional selectivity. Parts of my motivation for my degree is connected my feelings of time constraint as my life and family is moving forward, I want to complete this degree not only for my own satisfaction and my desire to advance my career but I want to do something that will ultimately benefit my family. Despite my socioemotional selectivity, I wonder if how strong my motivations and emotions will be and will continue as I venture on with degree? Will I still be able to balance my motivation for education and my complicated family life? Does socioemotional selectivity still hold up if my emotions change? I will probably have to look into more research about it.




Social Context

According to Brofenbrenner’s microsystem and mesosystsems (n.d.) these systems are provide our social context for our learning. As a mother, I am providing a microsystem for my children for learning manners, values and social cues. They in turn are taking what they have learned from my husband and I to their mesosystem at their daycare center. Some questions that arise with Brofenbrenner’s theory are what if your microsystem is horrible? What if the values and social cues you learn clash with mesosystems, macrosystems and exosystem? Which system, if any, can change the learners’ experience with their own social context? Does that outside system become a learner’ s new microsystem?

Hidden Games

Perkins (2009) thoroughly discusses learners discovering the “hidden game”. At a job I used to have in higher education. I was good at my job but I had to begin looking at the hidden game of my job. I had to learn the office politics. Now learning office politics isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it was for me. I had to learn how much authority I could exert at my job, if any. I realized I was responsible for every thing that occurred in the office. I also learned that whatever director said, whether it was beneficial to the office not, she was correct. So I had to learn to become a better at the hidden games. I had to learn to take imitative but not too initiative. I had to make I was a couple steps of ahead of what my boss was thinking so I would cause any snafus in the office. What did realize about this one terrible episode of me learning hidden games is when learning, we should never think of anything we are learning as simple. There is always a different perspective and there is always something more we can learn.

A Helpful Link

I have a found Brofrenbrenner’s theory very useful. I found this fun short video that explains his theory. It’s informative, quirky and humorous. I hope you enjoy.


Bronfenbrenner’s microsystems and mesosystems. (n.d.). Retrieved 13 February 2015, from

Houde, J. (2006). Andragogy and Motivation: An Examination of the Principles of Andragogy through Two Motivation Theories. Retrieved January 29, 2015, from ERIC:

Perkins, D. (2009). Making learning whole: how seven principles of teaching can transform education. San Francisco, California: Jossey Bass Wiley.

Rutherford, M. (2014). Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems ModelYouTube. YouTube. Retrieved from

Memories Attention and Emotions, Oh My!

Memories Attention and Emotions, Oh My!

For the last two weeks , many concepts have been covered in relation to Cognitive Science. Out of the concepts I will discuss Memory, Attention and Emotion and its connection to my own learning environment.

Memory and Attention

As a program assistant, I rely on my skilled knowledge, experience and practice (Perkins, 2009) to complete my tasks at my position and work on my job performance. At times I have deal with the “hard parts” like the fairly new financial system, so many time I pay very close attention what I am doing and I am very deliberate about making sure I rehearse the task before I execute it. In his paper, Fougnie (2008) discusses that central attention works in conjunction with your working memory to allow you to keep the information you acquire over time and helps the brain concentrate when processing tasks using the stored information. Until this course I did not know the big connection between memory and attention. I have noticed if I am distracted or not very interested in what I am learning, my memory of what I learned is choppy or not clear. As a better illustration of this point, I have included a video of Jonis Jendi discussing the effects of poor working memory and what it does to your attention. The video is really short but I feel he explains a lot in that short time on video.


Emotions play a strong role in my learning environment, particularly with my motivation. As with others that have created a PLE online, each course is a new learning environment or at least a piece of that environment. I understand that I have a goal in mind and that each course and how I perform will get me closer to my goal of earning my degree and advancing my career. I am also getting older, so my perspective of time is starting to become constrained as I felt that I didn’t go back to school last semester, most likely I would have never done it and subsequently I would feel like I was a failure to potential I know I possess. In short, I am experiencing what Houde (2006) calls socioemotional selectivity. I have children and a husband now so I am taking time much more seriously and it has an effect on my emotions, motivation and my learning.

Please check out this short clip from Professor Laura Cartensen briefly talking about getting older, and motivation in the 21st century.

Preparing for Long Life in the 21st Century

Before You Go

I found this great article about intrinsic motivation, emotions and cognitive learning that I think ties into some of my thoughts of this post.


 photo calvin-hobbes-motivation.gif
Calvin and Hobbes always says it best.


Carstensen, L. (2015). Preparing for long life in the 21st Retrieved 9 February 2015, from

Cogmed Working Memory Training,. (2008). Cogmed: Working memory and attention problems. Retrieved from

Fougnie, D. (2008). The relationship between attention and working memory. In N. Johansen, New research on short-term memory (1st ed.). New York: Nova Biomedical Books.

Houde, J. (2006). Andragogy and Motivation: An Examination of the Principles of Andragogy through Two Motivation Theories. Retrieved January 29, 2015, from ERIC:

Perkins, D. N. (2009). Making learning whole : How seven principles of teaching can transform education. San Francisco, Calif: Wiley

Sun, R. (2013). Emotional fuel and the power to motivate studentsThe Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 February 2015, from





Welcome to the EDU 510 section of my PLE site! For the first 3 units different sections of Cognitive Science are covered: Artificial Intelligence, Logic and Analogies.

Artificial Intelligence

As AI is becoming more prominent in education and our everyday lives. As engineers do their best to make AI as human as possible. There are videos of engineers using robotics to make human looking AI androids. However, emotion is difficult there is not yet a complete understanding of how emotions work in the brain so it is difficult to try to emulate that in a machine (Emory University, 2011). AI doesn’t know how to love or what friendship or a relationship means. They only know what they’re programmers have entered into their system and can only perform “learning” by the program that was designed for them. We don’t know what the future holds for AI but I am sure we have seen plenty of movies that imagine what it could be like. Below is an interesting scene from the film “I, Robot” starring Will Smith. The scene covers AI and emotions.


Logic, Rules, Concepts

I currently work in a small office at major public university and I often work alone. In order to get things done I have “formulate a method” to solve the problems that I face in my job each day (Barbey & Barsalou, 2009). I have to use logic and rules to execute all my tasks for my position. Logic, rules and concepts plays out not only on my job but also in the educational setting that I am in now. As a graduate student of Post University, I am constantly using these terms to “solve” my problems or complete an assignment. I have to follow the rules such as deadlines and rubrics in order to fulfill the requirements assigned to me. When I talk to others about the course I am taking now, it is already understood that concept I am discussing is “Cognitive Science”. I am not going to say, “I am taking a course in AI, Logic and Analogies”. Learning about these topics helps me see how our brain is working through logic, rules and concepts all the time and quickly. We make inferences from the world around us even as early as infants and use them to make decisions.


Analogies/Learning Styles 

As I reference again to my educational setting as a student as Post, I recently took a learning style survey, which the results seemed I was neutral across all criteria. I seem to not lean to far one way or the other on each spectrum. After viewing the YouTube video from Heritage College (2009), I identify with being combination learner. I enjoy audio, visual and kinesthetic approaches to learning. I do not experience much kinesthetic learning while taking this online course but it’s okay because I am learning to adjust to learning without a hands- on approach. I have the opportunity to incorporate kinesthetic learning myself by using what I have learned in class and using it at work. Therefore I can incorporate some experiential learning within this course. Please see the graphic below to get a better sense of what I am talking about.

One More Thing

I found an interesting video on Youtube about using Analogies and Images to communicate better when you presenting. It is not  education related per se but you certainly see what Ms. LaBalme is talking about.




Barbey, A. K., & Barsalou, L. W. (2009). Reasoning and problem solving: Models. Encyclopedia of Neuroscience , 8, 35-43.

Emory University,. (2011). Transformers: Is artificial intelligence dangerous without emotions. Retrieved from

FHEfoxconnect,. (2012). I,Robot. Retrieved from

Heritage College,. (2009). Teaching strategies -learning styles. Retrieved from

LaBalme, V. (2012). Communication & Presentation Skills – The Power of Analogies. Retrieved from

McLeod, S. A. (2010). Kolb – Learning Styles. Retrieved from