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.

2 thoughts on “Connected learning

  1. Hey,

    One thing you might be interested in would be the “Guide on the side” mentality to teaching. It takes some of the co-learning concepts and attempts to fuse them with mentoring and larger class sizes.

    The larger question here is whether or not our students are products of an educational system, or a learners we intend to mold. Is standardization or the common denominator a way to teach? The reason I ask is that if the teacher screens too much or are told what to teach (teaching to the test) students may not even know what they could have been interesting in learning.


  2. I really liked the point you made about an abundance of information being on the internet, and how that can pose challenges for students who have difficulty telling the difference between factual and fabricated information. This is very important in modern day because students often refer to whatever comes up first in a quick Google search. They rarely think twice about the source of their information, which can lead to many issues throughout their studies. I have even found myself struggling to figure out whether a news story or specific article is completely factual because you can never be completely certain of who is behind it. Promoting good research skills and valid resource outlets (e.g. Google Scholar, library databases, etc.) to students is of great value not only to them, but to teachers who will be grading their work as well.

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