Another dot in the blogosphere?

Blended learning is more practice than theory

Posted on: May 21, 2014

There is a question that sometimes irks me after I am done with workshops, talks, or demonstrations. That question is: Do you have something I can read on [topic]?

Depending on the context, my knowledge of that person, or my reading of mindsets, that person falls into one of at least two categories.

The first is a genuine interest to know more. I have no problems with that, which is why I normally pepper my presentations or materials with links.

The second is a harmful and theory-oriented mindset. If I take blended learning for example, then the question is: Can you provide more readings on blended learning?

If you want to find out more, then good for you. But if you think that there is an instruction manual for blended learning, then forget about it.

Most instructional strategies are not learnt by reading. They are learnt by doing over and over again, and by correcting mistakes along the way.

You might start with a very basic piece on blended learning or indulge in some Googling of blended learning. Then you must design and implement as quickly as possible. Letting it stew in the mind is not the same as serving it at the dinner table.

The harm of the over-cautious mindset has deeper roots. It is a disconnect with learning and the learner of today.

For example, consider how people learn to use mobile devices or play games. Most times they jump right in and do by trial and error or they get information just in time. They might consult the (very brief) manual, online forums, YouTube, or people around them for help.

They do not ask for a textbook. There are no textbook answers for practices that change all the time. There are no textbook answers for flexible mindsets.

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