From Dependency To Autonomy

From Dependency To Autonomy

In a previous post I suggested that teacher innovators need to understand the new learning strategies that modern learners are using for their own, outside of school learning. I also suggested that these learning strategies can be understood by looking through three lenses:

1) The learning strategies that learners use to construct knowledge with others.

2) The learning strategies that learners use to solve complex problems.

3) The learning strategies that learners use to make better learning decisions.

In this post I want to explore the third of these lenses how modern learners make good learning decisions.


Modern learners have the ability to generate large amounts of data about our technology-based activities which enables them to use self-generated data to assess and make decisions on future actions. They understand that data is everywhere and it can be used to help them make better decisions about their own learning.

Modern Learners learners track their improvement through the use of short term, medium term and long term data. They use auto-generated data, whether it be using monitoring programs and sensors, or data analysis of generated artefacts to inform decision making about their learning as the learning is happening. As such correlation is not the post assessment of learning whether is be self assessment, teacher assessment or peer assessment.

Modern learners have the ability to view the learning artefacts of others which enables them to learn from what other learners are doing or have done. They understand that the online learning of others leaves digital tracks and those tracks can be used to make better decisions about their own learning.

Modern learners follow other learners by using social networks, or interacting with them in their personal online spaces such as their blog. They understand the priorities and the decisions that other learners make, and use this understanding to inform their own decision making. That said comparing is not simply copying what others are doing, or imitating what the teacher is doing. Modern learners do not earn just from a single person, as the usefulness of comparing comes from comparing the decisions of a wide and diverse range of co-learners.

Modern learners have the ability to participate in virally amplified online activities and events which enables them to easily identify new and important ideas and content. They understand that the more powerful an idea, the more strongly it will be amplified by modern technology making powerful ideas impossible to miss, and therefore they give more weight and attention to strongly amplified ideas and trends.

Modern learners understand therefore give importance of memes and other viral objects, and participate in these. They seek to build upon and amplify the ideas of others and rather than simply re-sharing their ideas. Catching is therefore not teacher directed, or directed by a small group of people, and it is definitely not following the rigid predetermined curriculum.

Modern learners have the ability to learn in the same communities as experts and professionals which enables them to make better decisions about their own learning. They understand that by learning with experts and professionals, their learning is authentic and no longer needs to be simulated.

Modern learners participate in online communities with experts and professionals, as opposed to learning in school provided silos. They identify where the experts and professionals are learning together online and they join these communities. As such, their learning decisions are situated in authentic practice and authentic communities, influenced by what experts and professionals deem important at the time. Cooperation is not schools creating their own online communities separate from the authentic communities of interest.


Over the three posts I have described the 12 Principles of Modern Learning, an image of all twelve principles is available below.


At the IOI Weekend teams will consider the new possibilities that new learning strategies for making better learning decisions make possible for their classroom learning. 

A free fast paced three-hour taster on Friday night will provide you with a shorter experience of the IOI Weekend. This is a free event and will be held at:

May 15th 6PM – 9PM at New Era Melbourne
Level 2 141 Capel Street North Melbourne VIC 3051

Over three hours we will give you a taste the IOI Process highlighting:

  • IOI Pedagogical Quality Framework,
  • IOI Learner Development Profile,
  • the Modern Learning Canvas,
  • how pedagogical quality, effectiveness and capacity can be measured,
  • and get you on your way to develop an Innovation Thesis.

Please RSVP to if you intended to join us to help us with catering (light finger food and drinks.)

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