How Can We Learn Better ? Zhuang Xiuli, Ph.D. [email_address] Co-founder of (SLL)
How can teachers learn better?
Where are the useful materials?
“ We are not being valued ”
One   year  later, some changes
NewsLetter Instruction design Modification  Service group
What makes them change?
The Tools ?
Or other reasons ?
“  connecting people” makes  “connected  people” change !
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Tedxwiseru Xiuli How Can We Learn Better20100821


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The ppt is what i shared on TEDxWiserU, 21,Auguest,PKU.

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  • How can we learn better

    Good afternoon, everyone ,
    My name is zhuangxiuli. I am very honored to speak here today. I am working in the Faculty of Education, Beijing normal university. (Here “normal” in Chinese means teacher education .)
    The topic i share today is “How can we learn better”.
    It’s from 2007 I taught a course of using social tools in education.
    At that time, I made a pledge on a website called which can help gathering people to get things done .
    I made pledge because some words on that website touched me . The meaning of the words is when you feel powerlessness, we need together .
    My pledge was about looking help and finding people to develop the course of using social tools .
    During this process, with some partners together, we have built a learning community called
    With the development of SLL, more learning communities have emerged. Most of them are built by the members of SLL. These learning communities are connected each other in some ways , So , thousands of people are connected, sharing their knowledge and experience.
    The story I share today is about teachers’ learning , which took place in one of the learning communities.
    With the rapid change of our society, how the teachers keep pace with the development of our society becomes an important problem.
    The key question of the story is : How can teachers learn better?

    The story is about some teachers who teach the course of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) . As the background information, there is about one or two ICT teachers in one K12 school and ICT course has become compulsory course supported by national policy since 2001 in China.
    It was in April, 2009 I made a survey on how ICT teachers use technologies to support their own lifelong learning, and what their learning needs were at that time.
    From the result of the survey, most of them said they mainly use search engines such as to find some materials about how to learn photoshop or flash, and so on. and seldom did they exchange materials or gather together to discuss how teaching. Most of them work and learn in an isolated way.
    After that, with the support of the local educational institutions , these teachers were connected together through some social tools such as Gmail , Googlegroup, and so on.
    They became connected in this way.
    Before that few of them knew these tools, the tool they used most is an online talk tool called QQ.
    Although they are connected, you can feel obviously they show no willingness to make any change at that time. What they said most was like that:
    “ICT course was not valued in school, we are not being valued too, we just do trivial stuffs on the campus, like fixing computers and the like.”
    When talking to how to teach well ,some of them usually said:
    “Teaching is not my main job, I need to spend more time to maintain computers and other electronic equipments, I am busy.”
    Almost one year has passed, here are some changes .
    They create a great name called “稷下学社”for themselves, for the community connecting them .
    They organize a team called “warm heart serving group” to serve the development of the learning community.
    They take a lot of active and innovative ways to do things.
    They edit newsletters twice per month. Different ICT teachers put the useful materials they had found on the newsletter. In this way, every one become effective than before. They never learn alone any more, but finding and sharing together .
    Not only do they begin to change the way to gather some useful materials they need , but also they begin to adopt a new way to discuss their teaching and to modify their instructional design plans .
    Some teachers post their instruction design plan to a googlegroup, and organize other teachers to have a brainstorm . In this way they work hard and struggle to improve their teaching effectiveness, to make themselves teach better.
    They are very different from before.
    They even begin learn to manage themselves in the connected environment in order to cooperate better . They practice knowledge management. They learn to summary and set some rules from best practice. For example, according to the past experience, they set rules about how to hold an effective web meeting, and so on.
    They also establish rules on how to discuss instructional design plan together.
    These ICT teachers are now creating some changes! They are now full of initiatives and creation .
    Although these changes didn’t not take place among all the teachers there, and although these changes are only in the beginning stage, but we have witnessed some changes can take place, and have taken place.
    The change of these ICT teachers drives me to think:
    What is the key reason of making them change?
    Social tools which connected them?
    Or some other key Factors ?
    Social tools they used to connect them server as infrastructure, which provides the possibility for changes.
    So what are the other reasons which make the change directly ?
    It is the “connecting people”!
    “Connecting people” is the people they are connecting .
    “Connecting people” makes connected people change!
    Maybe it is still a hypothesis . But we can judge from ourselves experience .
    In china there is an old saying “孟母三迁” ,mother meng changed to live different environments three times for the growth of her child, which shows the same meaning.
    One of TED talks given by Nicholas Christakis,” The hidden influence of social networks” maybe can also in some degree support such hypothesis .
    Under such hypothesis, It's unnecessary to teach teachers, just help them get the chance to connect different benchmark people .
    It is the better way for we to learn lifelong, learning by doing, learning from sharing, learning by cooperation!
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Tedxwiseru Xiuli How Can We Learn Better20100821

  1. 1. How Can We Learn Better ? Zhuang Xiuli, Ph.D. [email_address] Co-founder of (SLL)
  2. 2.
  3. 5. How can teachers learn better?
  4. 6. Where are the useful materials?
  5. 8. “ We are not being valued ”
  6. 9. One year later, some changes
  7. 10. NewsLetter Instruction design Modification Service group
  8. 11. What makes them change?
  9. 12. The Tools ?
  10. 13. Or other reasons ?
  11. 14. “ connecting people” makes “connected people” change !
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