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Posts Tagged ‘learner

Here is a lesson on video-based learning as applied outside the schooling bubble.

Watch this video of a 12-year-old girl who taught herself dubstep dancing by watching YouTube videos.


Video source

Administrators, instructional designers, and teachers might be seduced by the sentiment that the girl expressed: “It benefits you by rewinding, pausing… you can watch it over and over again, but in a classroom you can’t do that.” This is also what a vendor might say.

The self-taught dancer went on to say that the Internet was her generation’s way of learning things.

I do not deny those two points, but if we focus only on the technical affordances of YouTube videos and what seems to be a generational difference, we focus on the wrong things.

A video simply being on YouTube does not drive the learning. It is the learner that does this. In the words of the girl in the video:

If you’re on the Internet, you can really learn and teach yourself… You can do anything if you really have a passion for it.

What YouTube has done is made self-directed and truly independent learning possible. What the learner must do is desire to learn, search, watch, curate, practice, critique, and create. All are desirable outcomes, are they not?

Later today I will conduct a presentation on educational crowdsourcing.

The praxis of educational crowdsourcing: Learner as content creator and learner as teacher

I was invited by a university to contribute to a seminar where one of the themes was to push the practice of collaboration.

I have opted to focus on how faculty might do this by positioning students as content creators and teachers. It is one of my teaching philosophies that students learn best when they take these roles.

During my presentation, I back up this stance by citing the theory and/or research behind such practice. I also share my own experiences doing these when I was a university academic.

Update: My Google Slides are at http://bit.ly/iits-praxis.


Video source

I loved watching this video of a few mothers trying Minecraft for the first time.

It is one thing to read opinion pieces of the game, particularly in the context of education, and another to experience it for yourself. Then once you try it out, it is one thing to have a taste and it is another to immerse yourself and keep at it.

Despite the short exposure to the game, I like how one mother told her child to move aside so that she could do something in the game. That is a step closer to immersion. Csíkszentmihályi would refer to this immersion as flow. We might refer to it as being in the zone.

This is experiential learning and learning-by-doing at its best. These are natural extensions of who were are and that is one reason why games like Minecraft are so successful.
 

 
I have said it before and I will say it again: If you cannot reach them, you cannot teach them. If you want to teach the learner, you must first be the learner.

This is not just about gaming. It is one thing to observe a child playing; it is another to be the child playing. It is about taking the child’s perspective and having an educator’s empathy.

If you do not do something new like playing Minecraft, you will not know why it appeals so widely or how to leverage on it. The first step is the hardest. Take it and do.

BTW, I played Minecraft (mobile and PC versions) with my son and created several videos of what we learnt together.

John Seely Brown (JSB) had this to say about entrepreneurial learners:

The entrepreneurial learner is constantly looking for new ways, new resources, new peers and potential mentors to learn new things.

Enough said.

If not, here is JSB’s full PDF and here is an image that illustrates what being an entrepreneurial learner is like.
 

This is an exception that I am making to a rule. I am responding to an email request to feature an infographic.

I am featuring it partly because the person asked nicely, had credentials, and responded to my queries. I am also including it here because it addresses an emerging but important trend that not many people understand.

Learning analytics is an edtech trend to watch. I highlighted this with the help of the 2011 K-12 Horizon Report to folks from Blackboard when we met at the eLearning Forum Asia 2011 (eLFA).

Based on a tool demonstration they provided some months later, I did not get a sense that Blackboard really understood what learner analytics was. I only saw administrative analytics, not learning or learner analytics.

The infographic below provides a better picture of this [source].

A learning analytics system does not just data mine. It reacts and responds as an intelligent system to every learner. It augments a human instructor by providing more immediate feedback and personalizing learning.

Bottom line: A good learning analytics system is not designed with an administrator or KPIs in mind. It is designed for the learner first and foremost.


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