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Posts Tagged ‘timely

When I was a boy, I had to wind my wristwatch and use a key to coil a spring in household clocks. Today it seems like the only way to get wound up by a watch is when its battery runs flat.

You can either bring the watch to a shop to get the battery changed, or you can attempt it yourself. When I first watched how someone else did it and how much the battery and service cost, I decided that I would do it myself in future.

Back then it looked like a specialised or skilled task. It is not any more. There are numerous websites and YouTube videos that show you how to open up the watch yourself and swop the battery. Many of these resources are brand or model specific.

I change my wife’s and my watch batteries once a year or every two years, so I sometimes forget my self-taught lessons.

A recent reminder was how rare some batteries are.

I had to find an equivalent for a battery for a dress watch because the exact brand and type was not available in hardware stores here. So I searched online, found the equivalent types, and made price comparisons. I saved anywhere between five to ten times the cost by DIY compared to going to a shop.

The result of this exercise was a renewed appreciation for how easy it is to be a self-directed learner nowadays. All this is because we have accessible platforms and creators who share openly.

The timely reminders are that we need to create conditions for this sort of learning and nurture learners who not only know how to consume helpful content, but also how to give back by creating and sharing.

I hid yesterday’s entry from general view because of some possibly sensitive information. But I share the second, generic half of my reflection here in case it helps someone. It is about getting timely feedback directly from your learners.

… instructors who take things into their own hands can create simple Google Forms to get feedback if they need to quantify things. I also ask for feedback regularly on Edmodo. If you do this, you should be aware that your learners may take many surveys and you will want to keep things simple.

One of my participants remarked: “I always receive instant feedback for my assignment and I appreciate that.” I know they do, which is why I go out of my way to respond as quickly as I humanly can.

Hattie, in his meta study of meta studies, identified feedback as the most important factor of effective instruction. He summarized by saying: The most simple prescription for improving education must be “dollops of feedback.”

I do not think I do dollops, but I try to offer timely feedback.

Just as learners appreciate timely feedback, so do instructors. If you do not get this feedback as an instructor, you can seek it by taking matters into your own hands. If you leverage on technology like Google Forms and Edmodo, you have data that you can use to your advantage.

@elfgoh is wondering what skills students should learn. He tweeted in #edsg and shared his question on Facebook.

Here is my response.

I do not think he was referring to school-based skills or values or attitudes. In the context of the last #edsg chat, I think he might be thinking of 21st century skills or competencies. Or he could just be thinking about how students might be prepared for an uncertain future.

My suggestion is that students learn to LAMP: be Literate, be Adaptable, have Multiple Perspectives.

Why LAMP? Simply because I believe that education is the lighting of the lamp, not the filling of the pail.

By being literate I mean that students should have have literacies basic, information, digital, social, and more. (Yeah, I cheated because this is actually a suite of skills, but this does not make them any less important.)

Learning to adapt is a skill that helps when circumstances change unexpectedly. Adaptability is useful in emergencies, in business, and in various aspects of daily life.

Finally, being able to take multiple perspectives keeps a broad and inquiring mind. I would argue that you have only learnt something when you adopt someone else’s perspective.

These are skills that current schooling does not necessarily emphasize or provide. They are what I expect of my son and my learners to master. These skills are are all enablers of lifelong, lifewide learning.

I think that these are timely skills given today’s context. They are also timeless because you could mention most of them 100 years ago (digital literacy being the exception) and they would still be relevant.

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