Light Offerings

Building Learning Opportunities for the Digital Age

Posted by jturner56 on September 15, 2014

ca1What would be the response if you asked your students, how could they learn better?

Perhaps the traditional response of work harder, ask more questions, manage workload or time better, be more organised, etc. All well supported by traditional priorities. But with the danger of checkbox learning towards a  means to an end motivation (or lack of) that can only retard the potential of learning.
In the digital age, however, there is more emphasis on better understanding how one learns, and from this how to move forward.

It is education’s role therefore to be instrumental to help student learn how to learn.

One way is to create learning opportunities that build skills and understanding through processes valued by today’s curriculum such as inquiry, active reflection, active learning and researching.An example is through a WebQuest, which is not new, but provides a good example of a mechanism to advance information literacy by getting students to challenge their thinking. Apart from digital literacy skills such as digital searching, evaluating information and using it productively, WebQuests can also connect learning through the creation of contestable media products, which can lead to next stage questions.

iFolios are one mechanism for supporting this through connecting, communicating and debating.

Inquiry processes, active learning approaches and formative feedback systems are needed if depth is to be achieved. Contemporary research into the nature of learning and learning how to learn also reinforces the importance and potential of digital tools in such processes.

It may sound convoluted, but the simple question “How can you learn better”, approached through a commitment to build deeper understanding, should be a core part of the visible teaching and learning of any digital age school.

Five Rules for writing a great Webquest (LLT 2001)
The nature of learning: using research to inspire practice (OECD 2010)
Learning how to learn – in classrooms, schools and networks (TLRP 2006)
Helping students develop effective study skills (ELES 2010)

So what does your task for students to help them explain how they learn look like?

Week 1: Bridges
Week 2: Busyness
Week 3: Beliefs
Week 4: Build (1) School Community + Digital Learning Ecosystem
Week 5: Blog (cross posted here)
Week 6: Build Learning Opportunities


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