Connected Learning

Notes from here:

Building a democratic learning experience – actionable by the many

Re-configuring what we think the problems are… always a work in progress which is never afraid to fail.

Democracy: need to educate everyone. Starts with wrong questions. Standards, targets, material to get covered, and successful outcomes are the starting point. The model remains how to effectively deliver content from a single-source to many listeners …. Educational experience is still defined by this criteria. Doesn’t matter who the kid is, we’re just charging at pace through the objectives. How about the experience? What quality of engagement do we want kids to have? How do we design learning experiences that foster ‘the need to know’? This is an emotional, question involving issues of identity and the building of context.

Clip Club uses a ‘narrative wrapper’ to explore kinds of conceptual thinking associated with film and audiovisual design. Once you reach that level of engagement, you enable access for the core academic knowledge to be assimilated.

Content is not about OUTCOMES but about building fertile CONTEXTS for participating: group problem solving, context for solving broader problems and being engaged with peers.

Social and responsible learning: Need to think less in terms of giving responsibility for learning over to professionals / experts or institutions-that-deliver-for-us and more in terms of learning environments, ecologies, sites, spaces that engages with learner interests and ignites a sense of delight, excitement, curiosity. Learning is part of the fabric of our interactions with everyone: at home, in informal school spaces, family contexts, at work, virtual forums around the world. Who contributes? cos it’s no longer the teacher’s job. Schools are a node on a network of social connectivity; they no longer constitute a discreet stage on a linear, demarcated pathway, along which children get pushed and pulled. Expertise is widely distributed, virtually anybody can help somebody else get better at something.

Multimodal communicating and critical thinking: draw out and express conflicting ideas + back them up in a climate of respect. Are we creating a new form of illiteracy by not respecting multiple modes of communication? by not engaging with debates on which media are the best for particular purposes? Must teach skills and then create an authorising environment in which to explore their own narratives. Learning is less about right answers and more about how you got there, how you work with others, connect, communicate your ideas in a variety of different ways to a variety of different audiences.

Designer-makers at play: physical execution of ideas with a tangible result designed by the children themselves. Concentration = a series of tiny connected micro-decisions. Play is the act of trying to get better at something. It’s social, barrier-busting, curiosity-provoking, driven to share, to talk. Practice breeds confidence. Play gets embedded in objects as you get older. Lose play as a frame of mind when older, playfulness is a frame of mind, need to reclaim play time. A well designed learning experience requires the participation of everyone for it to work… they’re in demand, it won’t work if they’re not part of it. Learn to see that the system won’t work without their participation. Engages a sense of human spirit in the process.

Recruiting mentors/peers: to develop a sense of purpose around their interests, to challenge and support in equal measure, not about finding information but developing relationships in like-minded groups and affinity spaces. Formal curricula moving at a glacial pace, at the pace of cultural shifts, when compared with the speed with which kids’ interests develop – based on own choices and self-initiated enquiry. Must build capacity to have kids make effective choices themselves, build their own support structures & mentor groups.

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