Connected learning

The concept of “connected learning” that I learned from today’s class really impressed me a lot. Connected learning incorporates social connections and digital media into the modern education system, which serves as a new way of learning and teaching. Different from traditional education modes, connected learning allows students a much quicker, more convenient and flexible way to access abundance knowledge. In addition, social media/connections such as Facebook and twitter may assist to stimulate students’ interests in learning through sharing achievements/information, integration of personal interest, or simply due to peer culture. Connected learning provides an educational reform keyed to abundance of knowledge and an efficient way to learn. However, connected learning also proposes a challenge to teachers in this new era.

Firstly, students may encounter the problems that how to filter the useful knowledge from the abundance information. Internet can be overwhelming for one to search answers of one question. Teachers should provide students a guidance of how to screen information effectively before releasing the assignment, such as how to set up key words, capture key points and summarize the information fragments. Secondly, no matter in class or after class, teachers should figure out how to help students focus on their current work rather than distracting by other information in the internet. In this fast-pace era, large information from the internet can easily make people to lose their interests and patient when learning. Therefore, it may be important for teachers to keep interest of their students on the course and dig out more fun during learning process. At last, the traditional way of teaching is still very important for education, especially for younger students. The most efficient way of learning for students in early stage may be still listening to a lecture by teacher and extending the related knowledge by reading books. Teachers have good experiences in instructing lectures: they know the most essential knowledge that serves as the basis of a subject, the most valuable information, the order of introducing the concepts, the best way of explaining a term and so on. Besides, books are a more systemic way of organizing the knowledge, which serve as a better way of learning than information fragments from the internet.

To sum up, teachers should learn to apply connected learning in their teaching, but also try to avoid its potential weak points at the same time.