This was a great article about the shift from education to learning. There were three tenets of connected learning that the author discussed. The three facets of connected learning are as follows:
1) A shift from education to learning. Education is what institutions do, learning is what people do. Digital media enable learning anywhere, anytime; formal learning must also be mobile and just-in-time.
2) A shift from consumption of information to participatory learning. Learning happens best when it is rich in social connections, especially when it is peer-based and organized around learners’ interests, enabling them to create as well as consume information.
3) A shift from institutions to networks. In the digital age, the fundamental operating and delivery systems are networks, not institutions such as schools, which are one node of many on a young person’s network of learning opportunities. People learn across institutions, so an entire learning network must be supported.
In a digital world, every individual could establish a learning network based on their interests and academic pursuits. Peers, institutions, and the community could join the individual's network and contribute to their learning.
These networks would enable a person to collaborate with like minded peers who share the same interests. Instead of just one institution participating in a student's education, multiple informal and formal entities can provide opportunities to learn in cost effective ways. Lastly, new media also provides people with the opportunity to demonstrate learning by creating work to share with instructors and members of the networking community.
When kids can create work and share information online, they are energized to learn and interact with their peers. Teachers and educators should embrace the learning that occurs from the connections and conversation that occurs after youth share and publish information.
The article suggests that educators should experiment with social networks by using them as an exoskeleton for classroom learning. These networks allow teacher to get to know their students, students to connect with peers, and give outside stakeholders such as parents an opprtunity to particpate in the learning experience.
Instead of viewing social networks as a nonproductive activity in the classroom and asking students to disengage from facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, educators must finds ways to leverage these new media. If students can be inspired to create, share information, and become more interested in learning, social networks definitely have a place in the classroom.
Tashawna is a high school senior in Brooklyn, NY. In the morning she leaves home for school listening to MP3s, texting her friends about meeting up after school at Global Kids, where she participates in a theater program, or FIERCE, the community center for LGBT youth. On the weekend she'll go to church and, on any given day, visit MySpace and Facebook as often as she can. While she misses television and movies, she says she just can't find the time.
This describes what I call Tashawna's distributed learning network, the most important places in her life where learning occurs. Not just at home, school and church but also through digital media, like MP3s, SMS and social networks, and at youth-serving institutions, like Global Kids and FIERCE. Some are places that require her presence, like school, while others are interest-driven, like MySpace. But the learning she gathers across the nodes in her network are preparing her to succeed in the classrooms, workplaces, and civic arenas of the 21st Century.
This article discussed how youth leverage technology and interest-driven learning to help prepare them for skills needed in the 21st century.
One of the best tools mentioned in the article was the Media Masters Digital Transcript. It would be great to tie youth's interests to their academics and create a learning map for every young person. It should be easy to locate programs that support interest-driven learning and aid youth in their academic development.
In an ideal world, every child would receive an assessment of their interests and academic assets. These assessments should begin early in the life cycle and continue throughout the youth's development. Once the assessment is complete, resources should be identified to support the youth's development. Some resources could be local, but many may be global because of the virtual nature of new media technology.
Wake up and smell the silicon: From smartphones and apps to computers and social networks, technology has permanently invaded kids’ lives, much to the benefit of parents and educators. But with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad now topping children’s wish lists, kids aged 2 to 5 are more equipped to run apps than tie their own shoelaces. In the rush to place high-tech and mobile devices in so many hands, we’re also doing perilously little to prepare adults and kids alike for life in a connected world, potentially endangering future generations ...
This is a great article about the need to prepare youth to become ethical and responsible citizens in cyberspace. It is inevitable that most children will use multiple forms of techolonoly to connect with friends and explore their interests. Parents, schools, and communities should not be in denial about the importance that social media plays in chidlren's lives and teach them how to properly use these tools.
I don't think many adults understand how to help young people navigate their experiences on the Internet. Just like many parents tell their kids to look both ways before they cross the street, they should also tell youth not to expose too much personal information online. Schools should take the lead and teach children proper net citizenship and provide resources to families that help create a positive online experience for youth.
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