So here I am in a hotel room in Baltimore, Maryland, watching you all through the rectangle of my screen. As a teacher, I am much more used to being in the room. Pretty much all of my teaching has had a strong f2f component and a grounding in space/time, even if it also had online elements. (I imagine there are some of you there for whom this is not necessarily true.) So since I am taking this unusual (for me) position in this plenary, I thought I would take up the theme of five things from the outside looking in…
We start with a person. That person comes from a family; they live mostly the life of their community. They spend some variable amount of time interacting with media, passively or actively. That media, be it television/radio/or the computer-connected experience of interactive media, is highly likely to penetrate the home and become part of the initial experience of family and community life.
Eventually, we interact with a range of community-based activities like clubs and sports, and we interact with learning institutions: libraries, museums, and of course…schools
For all of us in those learning institutions, we are used to seeing people come in/go out. They walk a path through us. It is easy to see our ‘place’ at the center with so many footprints walking through. I know this is true for me.
We do mostly expect people to do their own connecting…
Of course, the internet and the web have changed (dramatically)the possibilities for connecting. From our internet connected computer or mobile device, we can ‘walk’ through and participate in learning experiences from around the globe. We can sample digital assets, we can engage in conversations and publish to anyone, anywhere.
The notion of connected learning, where people can leverage the affordances of the internet to help make connection, be it a personal learning network or whatever…is a powerful idea.But we can also let this powerful idea push us, in learning institutes, to explore a related powerful idea.
We can take the notion of connected learning to also mean connections between and among learning institutions. We can take seriously that each of our ‘places’ is one node on an individual’s learning network, and we can build and enhance our connections to make the paths between and among us more fruitful, more accessible, and more equitable.
Five ideas from the outside looking in Elyse Eidman-Aadahl
Five takes on how we can support a more connected learning Leverage the power of interest-driven learning (HOMAGO) Collaborate across learning institutions to design pathways linking opportunities, assets, and specialties Rethink activities/assignments with a view toward production and leadership Support students to plan, design, and fill their learning portfolios (digital backpack, ‘badges’) Tilt, when possible, toward the open, the public, and the community-accessible