Learning2 – Day 3 A Connectivist Approach

This session was run by Madeleine Brookes.

Take Away #1:

And the connections keep on coming. This connection begins with going back to my last post’s take away #2. How powerful it would be for students to take control of their education where teachers become better mentors. Mentors who help you understand your learning, your path, the possibilities and your potential.

I think for high school students this is very easy to imagine. For middle school even, I think that teachers can visualize this. For elementary it becomes harder, yet possible. Of course elementary school students are still building basic skills. For example how can a student tell their teacher how they are going to independently study when they can’t read, write or know how to study.

So this is where idea, examples, brainstorming needs to happen. For example you have a student who has a goal to be better at using technology so you give them time to learn a specific app with a specific focus. Then you facilitate a way for them to teach their classmates. The next time they have a tech goal, they choose the app and they identify the focus and they plan the lesson to students, teachers, or parents. This is a tech example but you could easily do the same with a math or writing concept.

So I see younger elementary students participating in a classroom that looks very different. Teachers working with individuals and small groups while other students are doing a variety of independent learning. Not dissimilar to they way many classrooms do “stations” or “centers”, except the stations are student driven not teacher driven. The reality of this is the management of it. Making sure that all students are conferring with a teacher when needed and enough times to keep them focused and growing. I purposely didn’t say equally because that may not be what is needed.

Also this could be done with a variety of mentors. I think that similarly to the way that the exhibition draws on mentors from a variety of teachers. A key point of this would be that mentors would need to have training. This would help to insure that they would all be working with similar mindsets and expectations of support.

Take Away #2:

This acronym refers to collecting data/content. Aggregate the wanted content. Remix to look for patterns, connections and associations. Repurpose it to create and compose new thoughts. Then Feed Forward by sharing with others.

Feed Forward is the element that Madeleine says gets dropped and I agree. This is the element that teachers value but skip due to time restraints. What if this became the focus not the bit to skip.

What if the importance shifted from the “what” to the “so what?”
What if these questions became the focus?
What did you learn about teaching this to others?
How will you use what you learned when you shared?
What questions were you asked?
How will those questions drive you to change your presentation?
Will those questions drive you to do more research?

Feeding Forward also raises the question of how will you share your knowledge. What is the best media/tool to share it with? Who is your audience? How will you change your message for a change in audience?

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