“Learning how to learn” and developing agile learning independence is the key element for survival in 21st Century learners and is changing the learning landscape
Knowledge is ubiquitous and the days of teachers and lecturers being the keepers and deliverers of knowledge is long gone. By the time a student finishes a six year university degree over fifty percent of what they learned is obsolete.
So how do we ensure that we, as teachers, are not also becoming obsolete with the rise of excellent online courses such as Coursera and iTunesU?
Three magic words will put you on the right track.
Try saying “I Don’t Know” more often
We need to be ‘learning facilitators’ who can develop the skills a student needs to ‘learn how to learn’ and gain learning independence.
Teachers who can guide students to develop a powerful repertoire of independent learning skills will realise the less relevant they become to the learners success – the more successful they have become as ‘learning facilitators’.
I have been using the SAMR model as a teacher reflective tool for a few years since I met Reuben Puentadora in Oz at an Apple PD event.
I started using the framework to reflect on my teaching and learning activities but now I believe the SAMR model has far greater powers when the control is put in the hands of the students. When the SAMR model is explained and is used as a student springboard to creating open-ended activities and challenges it changes the dynamics of who is doing the reflection.
Based on the curriculum I give the students creative choices on the learning tasks that they want to attempt and suggest ideas for challenges that range from the Substitution to Redefinition. They also choose the solo, double, triple or quad group concept and also the audio, video, text and real life presentation model. They also engage in self-reflection and positive commenting combined with peer reflection opportunities.
So in effect, they are free to move themselves up and down through the hierarchy when and if they are ready. There is also the option to create new learning activities with consultation and completely shift the control. This can produce innovative, powerful learning adventures that I would never have thought of. The student orientated SAMR model can really empower the students and really enhance the development of a network of learners helping each other to learn.
Printing up hundreds of pages of notes to read, highlight and annotate is just a total waste of paper. I decided to read all the journal articles online – great idea! First step was to access the article, download the pdf files, read through and highlight the relevant headings, paragraphs, sentences, phrases. The trouble was that the highlighted sections were spread over 20 – 30 pages which was hard to flip through as a pdf. Not a problem – open a word document and cut paste – text jumping all over the page – create a table – looking organised now – save the file to my EER504 folder.
Repeat the process for the next article and then it’s time to review my learning so far. After half an hour of clicking from page to page, pdf to word and back again my idea did not seem such a great idea.
Do you know… sometimes the old ways ‘just work’ !
Just heading out into my garden to plant some trees – sorry world!