Professional Learning

Practicing Learning by Learning: The Importance of Continually Educating Ourselves

August 22, 2006

When one-to-one computing comes to a school, teachers, librarians, administrators, and technical staff have plenty to learn. A project's kiss of death can easily arrive in the form of feeling completely prepared, of already knowing everything that needs to be known.

I was sitting in the Anytime Anywhere Learning Conference in Boston, listening to John Bransford talk to us via video feed from Redmond, Washington, about learning. He used one slide that really got me thinking. It discussed the difference between learning how to be efficient and learning how to get better, how to innovate.

The short version of what I took from it is that if we accept learning to be efficient as proof of success, we will naturally fall short of our possible achievement. The only way to be sure we achieve to our highest level is to keep on learning -- to keep on practicing, always using a willingness to innovate with an ability to hold onto what we learn about how to do anything well. In short, don't be willing to rest on your laurels -- and, oh, yes, stay involved with the world and the people that surround you to receive feedback on how you are doing on your journey.

Which prompts me to ask this question: How are you practicing learning by learning? What are you learning right now? A musical instrument? A new language? Please share.

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