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:
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 second of these lenses, the modern learning strategies that modern learners use to solve complex problems and projects.
Modern learners have the ability to save and retrieve information in a variety of formats which gives them virtually unlimited capacity to store and retrieve information. Modern learners never start with a metaphorical blank piece of paper but rather draw upon their existing content to inspire and inform.
Instead they use modern technology to extend their capacity by recording and storing (eg photos, files and other digital media) content for future use. These learners recognise that reuse leads to quicker, easier and more importantly higher quality outcomes. They engage in activities with an eye for the future, and considering how the digital objects they create and interact with might be useful in other ways in the future. They engage in social bookmarking, they collate content using services such as Evernote, and they take photos, videos, and record notes using their mobile devices. Compiling is therefore much more than searching the web for ideas and inspiration, or accessing teacher provided resources.
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 easily build on previous learning ideas and content into their current learning? How does the ability to store, organise and audit self-produced digital content lead to increased and new student learning outcomes?
Modern learners have ability to participate in open and distributed projects which enables them to participate in more complex projects. They understand that it is more appropriate to contribute to an existing project than to start their own project from scratch.
Modern learners therefore seek out existing projects to which they can contribute, they identify the needs of existing online projects and provide assistance as they are able. The level of assistance that they provide will not be the same from project to project but will be determined on the needs of the project and the skills and passions of learner. Contribution is much more than simply participating to school designed group projects, or having an allocated team role or responsibility.
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 participate in existing projects that have been designed and implemented outside of the classroom and curriculum? How does the ability to participate in these external projects lead to increased and new student learning outcomes?
Modern learners have the ability to reuse and build upon the work of others which enables them to move beyond individual and isolated projects. They understand that everything is a remix and that creative and complex solutions always build on other’s previous work and ideas.
Combining is incorporating the contributions of others into your project, by downloading and modifying someone else’s project, or downloading a project and using it for a new or unimagined purpose. These projects might involve remixing audio or video, but might also involve remixing ideas and storylines, such as in fan fiction, or using libraries and code samples in programming. Combining is not taking other’s work and ideas and claiming it as your own.
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 build on the ideas and work of others? How does the ability to remix, reuse and repurpose lead to increased and new student learning outcomes?
Modern learners have the ability to quickly obtain feedback from multiple sources which enables them to continuously improve their current work. Modern learners understand that complex projects take a non-linear path with numerous small, non-critical “failures” along the way. Changing involves identifying what learners currently know, what they need to know, and how they can find it out. These learners learn by testing multiple ideas and possible solutions, and as such both success and failure is seen as valid learning.
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 quickly obtain feedback on their ideas and their creations in order to continuously improve them? How does the ability to design, test and evaluate lead to increased and new student learning outcomes?
At the IOI Weekend teams will consider the new possibilities that new learning strategies for solving complex problems 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.)