Learning on a Cloud

by t.e.d.d.y.

Recently we have seen a big change in learners – they rely heavily on technology and most of it happens to be on a cloud.  While many educators are still debating the uncertain influence of social media on learning and going back to basics, others think that there is no normal to return to – things are changing and that’s the new normal.  What’s evident and cannot be denied is that we are dealing with a brand new kind of learning.  It’s a brand new learning style adding to the ones we already know: tactile, visual, auditory.  The new learning style is defined by the massive amount of information and never-ending flow of updates and events.  This is how the new learner is engaged.

What is the new learning style?

  • the information is delivered in small bits and pieces
  • reading for too long is too boring because while you read there are 1000 things happening that you are missing
  • Is Twitter going to be the new book format?
  • Information is not static any more – it changes frequently and learners are participants in that change
  • Creating information is part of the learning and it happens fast
  • Technology is core but it is just a tool
  • Learners are not focused on technology as it may seem  – they are just using it efficiently when and if needed
  • Learning is global as is information
  • Learning tends to become more visual and tactile – even text is not read if it’s not visually appealing (measure)
  • The teacher is mediator – not a source of information
  • Learning facts happens through Google – lectures do not work any more
  • Interactivity and Q&A learning is more efficient in combination with practical experience

What does this change mean for the teaching process?  It means a new teaching style is due to emerge as well:

  • The teacher is a mediator — not a source of information
  • Lectures don’t work
  • Infuse interaction into the lesson
  • Make it very clear that learning is everywhere and happens all the time – not just in class
  • Encourage learners to explore and relate new material to real life
  • Do not restrict learners’ use of technology during a lesson – instead tell them that they should use it to their benefit and learn through it
  • Open learning to new possibilities – encourage learners to justify the use of technology and media – why am I doing this?  Why do I prefer this medium to that?
  • Do not try to catch up with new and upcoming media – it’s counterproductive.  Instead, consider only tools which help you teach and start using them only.  You don’t have to be up to date with what your learners use – if you don’t try to be “cool”, they won’t try to be “cool”.
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