Daily Archives: May 17, 2013

Agile instruction – using Web 2.0 as a tool

How is learning presumed to occur within the context of Web 2.0?

In the context of Web 2.0, much of learning will occur through what Brown calls “deliberative inquiry”. The process of learning the process of learning.
Students need to know why what they are learning matters, how they can effect what they are learning and why they are learning it that way. With all of the tools and information available to them it can become overwhelming and they look to their instructors for guidance. It is our job to watch and listen to how the learning is happening and empower the students to share this insight with each other.

What are the differences in the role of the learner and the facilitator as compared to ‘traditional’ learning environments? (Do you consider these roles and processes viable/valid given your philosophy of learning?)

As facilitators, we need to start thinking of ourselves as learners as well. There is so much that we can learn from our students, that can make our jobs easier and encourage students to take some real ownership of their learning.
Students are learning everywhere they go, allowing them to facilitate gives them an opportunity to share what they’ve learned outside of the classroom and for other to experience things they may not otherwise have the chance to.
The good news is that instructors don’t have to be experts in everything anymore. They can rely on students and other available resources to teach the technology pieces and they themselves can concentrate on the content.
The educational environment around us changing and this is due to a number of factors, some we have control over and some we do not. Right now are not preparing our students for the lives they will lead in the 21st century. But why? Some of the hardest push back is coming from both faculty and parents alike. But why?

What implications do these shifts have for how we think about designing learning environments?
There is much discussion about students being excellent multi-taskers, and they very well may be. But we’ve also seen highly focused and highly engaged students especially when it comes to something they are passionate about, i.e. video games. It is possible to engage our students to this degree, we’ve seen it done, and there times when this kind of focus is necessary to learning a specific skill or concept. I’ve been a part of several classes where “gamification” was employed successfully and rated rather highly by the students.
The shifts that I see happening all have to do with how flexible and agile we’re able to be when designing new learning environments.