From Me To We

In the 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 first of these lenses, how learners construct knowledge with others.

A few years ago I published the white paper Understanding Virtual Pedagogies for Contemporary Learning and Teaching which proposed four strategies which modern learners use to construct knowledge. This post is based on those ideas, although they have been modified since they were originally published so you will notice some changes.

Collective Knowledge Construction

Connecting
Modern learners have the ability to access high quality content whenever and in whatever format they need it which enables them to draw upon a diverse range of external resources. Modern learners understand that the world is too big to know and therefore use modern technology for just in time learning as the need arises.

Connecting might include using a search engine to find information, asking questions using Twitter, Facebook or other online forum or community, and identifying and returning to trusted online sources as needed. Connecting is not just using the Internet for research, learning via learning objects, or watching on-demand video lectures or whole class video conferencing with experts.

The innovative teacher who seeks increase to pedagogical quality and effectiveness, therefore needs to ask what does it mean for students when they can access high quality content at any time? How does the ability to search, ask and source new information lead to increased and new student learning outcomes?

Communicating
Modern learners have the ability to publish using a variety of media for low or no cost which enables them to share their ideas and get feedback from others. Modern learners understand that the world is their sounding board and therefore publish continually, in order to maximise the feedback they receive.

Communication is showcasing and reflecting on finished work, using social media to receive feedback on current progress, publishing current and intended learning activity to invite intervention from others. These learners publish their failures as well as their successes. They engage in reflective blogging, tweeting the things they intend to learn, before and as they learn, tacitly inviting others to offer advice and intervene in their learning in other ways.

That said, communication is not blogging or tweeting in a vacuum or creating a digital portfolio which no one ever reads, let alone responds to.

The innovative teacher who seeks to increase pedagogical quality and effectiveness, therefore needs to ask what does it mean for their students when they can publish to a global authentic audience in real time, in a variety of formats? How does the ability to present, reflect on, and narrate their learning lead to increased and new student learning outcomes?

Collaborating
Modern learners have the ability to form learning networks which enables them to contrast ideas and experiences with other learners. Modern learners understand that diversity trumps curation and multiple sources are always better than a single source. Therefore they use modern technology to access a diverse range of opinions, ideas and experiences.

Collaboration is contrasting and responding to the learning experiences of others for our own sense making. It is learning from and with others, and taking ideas and experiences from one domain and repurposing them in another. Learning from (listening to) experiences shared through social media or a reflective blog. Collaboration is more than having a personal learning network, joining an online community, or simply sharing resources with others.

The innovative teacher who seeks to increase pedagogical quality and effectiveness, therefore needs to ask what does it mean for their students to have this rich access to a diverse group of co-learners? How does the ability to confirm, contrast or even repurpose the learning of others lead to increased and new student learning outcomes?

Learning Collectively
Modern learners have the ability to form highly interconnected groups around an object of interest enabling them to engage in shared meaning making. Modern learners understand that purpose, not age or geography, connects them to other learners, and therefore they use modern technology to form learning communities around objects of shared interest.

Learning Collectively is seeking to understand the diverse opinions and points of view amongst the defined object. A collective might form around a physical object such a the love for a classic type of car, a virtual object such as playing a game like Minecaft, or a purpose such as creating a free encyclopedia like Wikipedia. As such these collective recognise and celebrate the diversity of experiences, ideas and opinions as they attempt to construct shared understanding and knowledge about the object of inquiry. Individuals in the collective, therefore, attempt to move from personal understanding of sense making to collective meaning making.

The innovative teacher who seeks to increase pedagogical quality and effectiveness, therefore needs to ask what does it mean for their students to be able to join rich and diverse online collectives? How does the ability to synthesis and curate shared knowledge as well as collectively investigate new ideas lead to increased and new student learning outcomes?

 

At the IOI Weekend teams will consider the new possibilities that new learning strategies for knowledge construction 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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