Learning to Learn – a new start for 2011

Thanks to Dean Shareski for this timely video, especially for educators in the southern hemisphere!  Next week our schools in Australia will begin the new academic year – many with staff meetings, and professional activities to motivate, and in many cases to talk about technology. What a perfect video to include.

Instead of going the way of the textbook I would go the way of technology. It’s almost like I have to unteach everything they’ve been taught. And then  I don’t even feel we’ve reach the spot where we’ve done that. You have to de-program and then start all over again. If we started teaching this earlier, this would be so natural to them, that there wouldn’t be all those barriers. They would know how to communicate. They would know how to talk to each other. They would know how to learn. They would know how to co-operate and give feedback. But I find that they do not even know how to do that.

2 thoughts on “Learning to Learn – a new start for 2011

  1. I think a difficult thing is finding the balance between process and content though: we have discussion about this each year with (for example) the first year “Inquiry in Information management” module we do. It is all focused around the students identifying and doing their own research project and them reflecting on their ideas about IM, so there are very few “lectures about IM” (in fact there is not even one “lecture on IM”, from us lecturers, really, we do have a practitioner and a consultant come from outside and talk about their take on IM). However, the students do need to understand that there IS content and that you have to work to make sense of it, that “inquiry based learning” isn’t the same as “whatever anyone says is ok, and there’s isn’t much to know about”. A lot harder work for teachers than giving lectures IMHO.

    I was also thinking Bill Johnston should do a video, they’ve been working in this kind of way with their 600 business students at Strathclyde for over a decade now. However – I can see this being riskier in schools in the UK, because of the National Curriculum – is it the same in Australia?

    Sheila Webber (just realised I’m signed in as my SL self, Sheila Yoshikawa)

    • Information management is a critical skill, and one that is not acquired easily, since it incorporates organisation as well as critical thinking or reflection. I doubt that students leave school skilled in these areas (though some do) and so it follows that they need further ‘nurturing’ in post-school learning environments. I would have thought that library courses in particular ought to have something in there somewhere to help them along :-) Not sure what the new National Curriculum here will shape up like, but in most states the curriculum includes information management and evaluation of some kind embedded into the subjects. The trick of course is that the teachers need to have the skills to guide the students. Hence the work in ‘guided enquiry’ and ‘project based learning’. My research many years ago showed that teachers were more influenced by their own personal perspectives of the information search process (being often out-of-date), and that they tended to translate that into their teaching approaches. That was pre Web 2.0, Google, and cloud computing. It doesn’t bear thinking about how much further some teachers could be slipping behind and how much of a leap there now is for some in terms of good IM. A video from Bill Johnston about their work would be good. Love that you signed in as your avatar :-)

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