This is a potential roadmap (among many others)… a guide to getting fit to learn how to learn in (only a few weeks away from) the third decade of the 21st century and to teach and educate children who will live into the 22nd century!
Designing learning experiences for teachers I work with is one of my passions. Learning experiences that give educators, who were most likely born in the 20th century with their own formal education lacking some of the new skills and literacies that the 21st century is demanding, NEED to have their own learning experiences where they can LIVE these new forms of teaching and learning first hand AND be metacognitive of the changes in order to translate these experiences into their own classrooms with their students. This requires educators to be open to learning how to learn (again) in a new century, for the future and not our own past.
I can’t help myself to start comparing my running journey with such a “learning how to learn” journey. I can draw definite parallels to getting fit for running a half marathon and getting Fit2Learn. The following infographic was created to wrap my mind around it and to put it all together visually for others, perhaps, to use as a guide. As always this is a potential road map, definitely not the only way to get to where we need to go as learning and teaching professionals.
The key to learning how to learn is to find examples, ideas, skills, projects, challenges, framework to get fit, develop your strength and test your abilities in learning how to learn for the 22nd century!
Look around you. Be aware how people read and write. Are there differences between reading and writing in schools and outside of schools? How do younger people read and write?
Where do we get our information from? How do we think critically about information? How do we find, curate, organize, share and archive information?
It’s about what we DO with the information that is at our fingertips!
Without a shift in mindset, even with technology tools, we will do nothing but merely substitute old teaching and learning.
Read, listen and watch as much as you can (books, blogs, articles, podcasts, videos, etc.) about new forms of teaching and learning. Try to surround yourself with a positive network of people who is open to change, new forms of teaching and learning.
(e.g: Now Literacies, Visible Thinking Routines, 5Cs (communicate, collaborate, connect, create, critical thinking))
We need to develop abilities in using tools in order to amplify teaching and learning. The abilities need to be practiced to gain fluency. (e.g: Twitter Chats, Sketchnoting, Mystery Skype, confession booth reflections
Practice using a tool or platform for an interest or topic you are passionate about. Use it to experiment, create and share, then find ways to embed into your teaching.
It’s not about a product. It’s about the process! If you are serious about change in education, you have to go through uncomfortable situations. Don’t try to take shortcuts and dodge the process. The process is the goal.
- Endurance: Don’t give up right away when it gets hard or uncomfortable.
- Speed: Practice fluency. There is a learning curve. It will get easier and take less time over time.
- Strength: practice and push yourself out of your comfort zone to keep learning.
- Form: use a framework, such as Documenting Learning to guide your process
(e.g: Digital Portfolios, blogging, podcasting, tweeting, social network book club, digital badges, etc)
Few learners have the ability to be completely self-sufficient when it comes to fueling themselves long term with new ideas, motivation and strategies to keep on learning and push themselves outside their comfort zone. Building a PLN (Personal Learning Network) is essential to keep fueling your growth on your terms. This network needs to be personalized, customized, and filtered to your needs and interests.
To be a life long, innovative, learner, you need to surround yourself with other learners. They will provide the fuel to continue learning and teaching in new forms. Invest time in creating a habit in connecting, learning from and with as well as contributing to your network.
The more you read, write, and learn on digital platforms, the more “unique” circumstances might present themselves that by “not having grown up” with these issues, you might not know how to prevent nor respond to them. It is your responsibility to become aware of them to prevent “injury”.
As you are learning new things, there is an obvious learning curve. Trying out new things, might not always work out on the first attempt. Pushing outside of your comfort zone, might be more what you bargained for or are able to handle at the moment. You don’t know what you don’t know, until it happens. Become aware to prevent any problems, issues or burnout.
Having an event, a particular challenge, or project you will be participating ahead of you, will keep you motivated, on track, and focused to continue learning.
Creating mini challenges, that are pieces of a larger picture of a learning experience are good opportunities to keep you on track.
Participate in the blogging challenge at www.documenting4learning.com to go through a curated learning experience of now literacies and metacognitive practices. (e.g: Edublogs Blogging Challenge, Global Read Aloud, #FlipGridFever