I have been thinking a lot about what it takes to shift our schools into the 21st century. You hear and read that term “Shift to the 21st century” a lot. In the past few years we have been so focused on integrating technology…maybe we tackled the desire to achieve change from the wrong angle?
So, I am going to make my learning ABOUT learning transparent. I am sharing the quotes and blog posts that resonated with me and are pushing my own understanding and desire to wrap my brain around the issue and make sense of it in my own mind. You can also follow the trail of my learning along the way by going in reverse chronological order through my del.icio.us bookmarks with the “learning” tag
image by Chris Campbell
As you follow the trail of MY bread crumbs, what are YOUR thoughts, WHERE does the trail lead YOU?
We teach teachers to teach, we donâ€™t teach teachers to learn. Even in professional development, we teach them stuff they need to be better teachers, but do we give them the skills they need to be better learners? Do we evaluate them on what theyâ€™ve been reading? On what theyâ€™ve been writing? On their reflectiveness?
For instance, in a world where literally any place can be a classroom, we have to unlearn the comforts of four walls that weâ€™ve become accustomed to. When we can share our work with wide audiences, we need to unlearn the idea that student writing and projects are simply ways to assess what they know.
Every single day I share my learning and have knowledge and learning shared back with me. I know it works. I literally donâ€™t think I could do my job any longer without it – the pace of change is too rapid, the number of developments I need to follow and master too great, and without my network I would drown. But I am not drowning, indeed I feel regularly that I am enjoying surfing these waves and glance over to see other surfers right there beside me, silly grins on all of our faces. So it feels to me like itâ€™s working, like we ARE sharing, and thriving because of it.
- Learning is social and connected
- Learning is personal and self-directed
- Learning is shared and transparent
- Learning is rich in content and diversity
We talk of self-directed learning and its importance in education today. Usually the conversations are centered on students being self directed learners and the difficulties they seem to have understanding this concept, but this is a new experience for many teachers as well. I believe most people are used to menu option of professional development sessions offered through their employer. Many chose to attend sessions that fit into the time constraints of their lives, whether they are the most relevant or not.
- Teachers must be learners
- Learning and Teaching are not the same thing.
- Technology is useless without good teaching.
- Be a 21st Century Teacher without the technology.
When we make our learning transparent, we become teachers. Even if we are new to a field and donâ€™t have the confidence to dialogue with experts, we can still provide important learning opportunities to others.
â€œLearning is a mindsetâ€¦.Weâ€™re in a space that is redefining what expertise is. Those who were experts in one space may become obsolete because in their own mind theyâ€™ve reached proficiency. Proficiency is a blind spot. Once you have the opinion you are proficientâ€¦you stop reaching out as a learnerâ€¦.The successful of the future will not only be those who know how to learn but those who see themselves as LEARNERS.
I wondered how many schools could point to someone, anyone, who is in charge of learning. By that I mean someone who manages the culture of the school by focusing not on outcomes as much as how learning is writ large in the system. Someone who also understands the ways in which social Web technologies accentuate the need for the learning skills weâ€™ve desired all along: creativity, critical thinking, independent thought, collaboration, etc.
T = (L + R + C)Ch Teaching equals Learning plus Retention plus connections multiplied by change. If what I do doesn’t cause people to change the way they behave I haven’t really taught them anything.
The (now) old phrase “poor teaching + technology = expensive poor teaching” will always hold true.