Consequently, content materials may include various combinations of text, images, animations, games, simulations, audio, video, websites and other supplements. Participants can work at locations and times that are convenient for them and best of all the content can be customized to the knowledge and experience of the learner. All this adds up to participants getting personalized, on-demand and rapid (e)learning. It's a different and more effective way of teaching the ABCs.
Do you like to teach-learn both formally and informally? I do. Then, take TIME to EXPLORE, DISCOVER, find PURPOSE and develop a PLAN for your teaching-learning in the 21st Century. You can decide (or not) to follow one or more of the following suggestions to be more connected (Connectivism) and better at communicating and contibuting (Constructivism). This is how I got started and grew as a result of learning from others. To manage the massive amount of information and not get overwhelmed, I recommend that you have a PURPOSE and PLAN for what you decide to do. On the other hand, you just might want to experiment until you do find a purpose and plan that suits you, your time and interest. Perhaps you won't and that's OK. The point is to explore, try and learn. So, CONNECT and CONTRIBUTE using any one or more of these baker's dozen suggestions as appropriate to your teaching-learning.
- Do a search on a topic of interest using Google; select a topic of interest to you professionally, e.g., education. Look at the first 10 results and see if you think they represent your topic well. With Google you can rearrange the items in a priority that suits you and your specific interests. See if your work or work you are interested in is well-represented there. If not, get STARTED by exploring the following:
- Connect with a person using e-Mail and/or text message (IM) a friend/colleague about what you are doing, something you've read or what you are thinking about. AIM, Skype and/or WIM are easy to use "presence" software for this purpose.
- Start using social bookmarking and tagging with Delicious or Diigo to keep track and share material you find relevant.
- Look into using a RSS reader such as Google Reader to track and read material you find relevant. But, first take a tour to see what it is all about.
- Learn how information spreads by posting an article you like or wrote to digg, reddit, StumbleUpon, etc. You can use Ping.fm or HelloTxt to manage/update your status simultaneously on your social networks.
- View or post a picture to Flickr or a video to YouTube. If you aren’t ready to post, then participate by commenting on or voting on some.
- Get involved with social networks and develop your own personal and professional learning network environment (PLN/PLE), e.g., LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook, MySpace, etc. Create a profile, including a picture and invite some colleagues. If you search, you’ll find many of them already there. You can connect to me by searching wgraziadei.
- Participate in microblogging by joining Plurk, Twitter, Seesmic, Utterli and/or Yammer. Explore text-, audio-, and/or video-based micro-blogging to determine if it fits your style of connectivity and communication. Find some colleagues who are already there and ask them to be friends. If they are not there invite them. Try following me at wgraziadei.
- Read and explore a few blogs to get a sense of what they are about and how involved they can be. Then try your hand at creating a blog if you have the desire and can commit to the time involved. I recommend that you investigate using Blogspot or Wordpress or Edublogs.
- Join and/or create a social community using Ning and set up an online community that revolves around your interests or activities, e.g., Education, Learning Town, Classroom 2.0, T-L Community, Pedagogy, Library and/or online conferences/unconferences such as Trends in Learning/Work Literacy/Spaces. First search to see what else is there. If you find some, check to see how many members they have and the date of the latest site activity.
- Use a Wiki to collaborate: Try Wikipedia Wikipedia, pbWiki, WikiSpaces, etc. Search, read, join and enhance it. If there isn’t one there, create it. See who else is on it.
- Join, create, share and learn in an asynchronous classroom using commercial and open source LMS/LCMS such as edu20, Edmodo, Studeous, Moodle, etc.
GO and DISRUPT your LEARNING and traditional. EDUCATION!
CAUTION! If you don't like acronyms, skip this paragraph. I just LOVE (Learning, Open, Visual, Experience) to LEARN (Look, Engage, Analyze, Reflect, New - OK your turn... can you come up with a better one for this?). Acronyms help me to remember and reflect on key points in my thinking as I teach-learn. The key to e-learning becoming learning can be represented by a discovery pathway I follow in my continuous (now grey) learning journey; I call it Q-RADAR; namely, Query, Research, Analyze, Develop, Assess, Reflect. The operative word (yes, just one more) is QUERY - Question, Understand, Evaluate, Respond, Yearn! I know that many of you are not a fan of acronyms; but, the point is that it works for me and my framework. Enough is enough; I'll stop with the acronyms. Please don't throw any tomatoes.
To understand where I am coming from in my teaching-learning with technology, think about Connectivism and Constructivism in education as explained in this video piece.
To close, we might ask, "Is there room in the 21st century student network for a teacher and teaching anymore?" Will the teacher become a technician? I say NO! The role of a teacher is important in not teaching WHAT we know but HOW we came to know WHAT we know and WHY through listening, guiding and discovery. Today, I strongly believe that learning is an informal global and social e-process in addition to the formal face-to-face (F2F) classroom, seminar and conference experiences. The exciting part is that these informal and formal empowers all of us to move rapidly from a knowledgeable to knowledge-able state of mind and presence. A good teacher knows how to ask the right question and not just give the right anwser. Indeed, there is a right time and right place for everything. Listening and collaborating are key. A teacher today needs to be a practitioner, resource, guide, coach, mentor, role model, innovator and pioneer who is able and comfortable to say, be that F2F or digital, "I don't know; but, let's go discover and learn together."
A great big GRAZIA to all my PLE/PLN friends who have CONNECTED and helped me CONSTRUCT these teaching-learning with technology thoughts. I can categorically state that I didn't learn any of this from scratch. I always try to relate my experiences and ideas to what I learn from others in order to construct a teaching-learning framework that works for me. Everyday YOU help me embed my ideas in your ideas. For this, I am deeply indebted to the e-world spirit of socialism!
Consequently, I can't close without asking, "What are your thoughts, opinions and/or suggestions about any or all of this?"
Please see a follow-up to this post, I'm IT. Now, you're IT. - 5 Changes in Education Meme ...A Retrospective.