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Director of Student Learning

There is so much we still have to learn...

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A recent study on digital literacy of independent schools in Melbourne highlighted that 100% of teachers recognised that using digital tools in the classroom was important yet only approximately 30% of the students surveyed said their teachers did due these tools. So why the disparity? Teachers recognise the importance and yet are not harnessing these tools nor empowering their students to do so. I know that some of the teachers I have spoken to are fearful...fearful that they don't know enough...fearful that they will make mistakes. This study resonates as it illustrates the power of students learning with and from each other and teachers learning with and from each other. We need to let go of our fears and 'try' new technologies and as Prensky describes empower our students to try "doing new things in new ways."

self-organized vs self-directed learning

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Hi I just joined this blog.
I was just wondering if there a difference between Self-Organized and Self-directed learning?

Thanks,

Eshi

Intrinsic Motivation

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We often overlook a student's agency in the learning process, assuming their lack of experience means a lack of knowledge. Professor Mitra's example challenges this assumption and provides that "Hmmm..." pause to consider if we, as educators, need to reconsider our teaching methods and assumptions.

MIE or Inquiry Learning

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I loved reading this blog! Isn't it exciting that students in this digital age have access to so many wonderful tools and information and can use it intuitively? Our school uses the MIE approach in our computer lab and I have, just this year, seen my students learn many computer programs (iMovie, Pixie, etc) on their own and probably faster this way than having an adult instruct them! I think this same approach can be used for many valuable learning experiences... whether it is called self directed learning, MIE, or inquiry learning- it is a very motivational technique.

Last year, I had a lot of

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Last year, I had a lot of special education students in my classroom (most of them had Specific Learning Disabilities). Although many of them struggled with literacy, they were excellent at navigating the internet. I was surprised that most of them even knew how to break the school’s firewall (to login to facebook and youtube). It seemed like their disabilities did not hinder their ability to access information on the computer the same way it did in the traditional classroom.

Emeritus Faculty in the School of Engineering / University of Connecticut

Absolutely! Ask Any Grandparent!

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My wife and I are proud to proclaim that our five grandchildren are the greatest five children in the world - as all grandparents similarly believe. To them, ANYTHING that captures their attention and is new is going to be explored. When the riding lawn mower became "available"to the oldest (under supervision of course), the push for access by the others was controlled by them based upon age - satisfying to Papa. AND when they reached comparable ages to when the oldest gained access, the grandchildren themselves developed learning permits, driving lessons, driving tests, and licenses on their own. As the chief oversight person, my job was very simple!

Closer to the Hole in the Wall or MIE: any new electronics in the family - theirs or mine - becomes, with permission, an opportunity to explore. With my new iPad, they have shown me probably as many features as I have discovered; they have asked for as many appropriate apps to be installed as I've found of interest to me. And it works exactly as described - showing each other and sharing among themselves - even showing us adults. When any of them are visiting, with my permission, my iPad passes from one to another grandchild or group of them.

During part of my career, I coordinated the first year engineering course sequence - starting with a complete overhaul of the approach, to one with lots of group work in and out of class related to a series of project assignments. Rather than teach skills such as programming and computer-aided design, we assigned projects needing such skills and provided complementary philosophy and interpretation of outcomes discussions in class; THEY WILLINGLY LEARNED THE SKILLS ON THEIR OWN!

In that case, the key was the real-world project assignments as yours was the new seed of discovery as you labeled them. Our students were motivated and engaged. When we introduced the new pedagogy, we kept half of the sections using the previously used lecture / homework approach. At the end of the year, surveys were completed by all students. In spite of the significantly increased work outside of class for then new approach, when asked if they were overworked in the course, far more students following the previous approach said they were overworked than did the students following the new approach (who were expected to do more work remember!); because they were doing something they wanted to do, extra demands were not a problem!

Thanks for this posting.

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