Connected Learning: is it good for elementary schools?

During past eight years, I have passed around sixty courses in three different universities. Each time I think about those courses, I find I only remember and apply six or seven of them! Only seven of sixty courses! The question is why only seven and what happened to other courses? I have asked this question more than one hundred times from myself. Why do I only remember and use seven of them?

I think the answer is that I was only passionate about those seven courses. As an engineer, I liked to solve problems in real life and those courses taught me techniques and tools to solve real problems.

I have no doubt that we need a better education system and the traditional education system is not effective enough. However, is the connected learning the solution?

Honestly, I do not know much about the learning process and last week was the first time I heard about the connected learning approach. I think the connected learning is ideal for university students, especially at the graduate level. The reason is simple: the university students almost know how to learn by themselves and they know the grades are not important (especially at Ph.D. level). However, I am not sure that the connected learning approach can be effective by itself for other lower levels. Although the traditional system is not good enough, it has a lot of benefits and advantages.  For example, the grading system may have some negative impacts but it increases the competition spirit and push students to spend enough time to learn some basics that they will never become interested about them! These basics are almost needed for everyone and without pushing some students to learn them, they will not learn. Generally, I believe the connected learning should be used to improve the learning process along with the traditional educational system and the use of connected learning approach should be proportional to the grade and age (and the person).  I may change my mind when I learn more about the connected learning approach.

6 thoughts on “Connected Learning: is it good for elementary schools?

  1. Ken Black says:

    As you have noted it was not the method, but the intent and the linkage that was made between the student and the content. Any method can be abused and then turn someone off to learning.

    What we are looking for is a engaged student, driven to learn. How we get there is often assisted by method. This course uses connected learning and technology as tools for success. This same connection can be made between a student and a dedicated mentor.

    Thus it is the emotional connection that we have with a topic or passion. We “profess” our desire to learn more and in the process we become an expect in a topic by coincidence.

  2. Homero says:

    Thanks for sharing.

    I agree that connected learning should be incorporated along with the traditional educational system. However, I don’t think that is more beneficial for people at the highest levels of their education. I think connected learning can benefit students at the elementary level as well. My son is in second grade, and the things that he learns the best are the ones that have been taught using connected learning or other non-traditional pedagogical strategies, is the only way he gets excited and engaged regarding his education.

    You are bringing up one of the biggest problems in education around the world. Remembering 7 out of 60 courses is a common problem for most students. I believe part of the problem is the system. If students learn for a test rather than for learning, things will be forgotten quickly after the test passes. Connected learning can help us overcome this issue. If we are able to use technology and different strategies to create a learning community where students reflect connected to each other I can assure you that the learners will not forget the experience.

  3. Very interesting points!

    I definitely agree with you that connected learning in terms of using technology may be far more effective at the graduate level where students have the habit of researching a topic in more detail on their own, from their genuine interest in learning more. I also agree that having technology complement the traditional teaching methods is a better solution for younger learners, but I think connected learning in the sense of hands-on learning should also be considered.

    I appreciate that you brought up the conversation on how connected learning may be correlated or enacted with our traditional grading system. Can it be considered “connected learning” if students are required to participate for a grade? Do students gain any benefit or inspiration to learn from simply marking off another task on the syllabus? I think this is an important topic that all teachers must consider.

  4. jieren says:

    I also have the same concern. Connected learning is a product of the digital age. Traditional education system (school) is a component of connected learning. An important question is how to take advantage of connected learning and benefit from connected learning.

  5. I agree with you on what you said about how we should use the Connected Learning. A couple of minutes ago I replied to another student blog referring to the same idea where we need to keep the current system that we have with the formal education while implementing the CL to improve it in the best possible way. I said that professors should have the task of guiding students while CL will help them increase that knowledge in their own way.

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