A Manifesto on Learning

Okay, here’s the deal.

In 8 days we are going to be leaving this lovely city (well most of us anyway) and returning to our homes and places of work. Once we leave we will be playing many more roles then we currently are…myself I will become a teacher, principal, father, husband, son and many other titles that don’t immediately come to mind.

Right now I am a student of educational technology, that is it, just a student. (Not that being just a student is a bad thing. In fact I am loving having limited responsibilites right now.)

When we leave we will have the computer to connect us a group…and that is about it. Why aren’t we trying harder to get together in the evening and talk about what we learned in class. Why are we trying to get to know each other better by going to Chapters, grocery shopping, downtown together? Why hasn’t anyone discussed a group chipping in and going to visit Banff or Drumheller one day this weekend?

I know we all have work to do. I have the same readings as you and the same obligations to post…but let me ask you a question…Think back to high school…take your time…I’ll wait…Ok, you there yet…no?…now?…good. Think about your favourite memory from high school. Hold that thought and let me predict something.

YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY DOES NOT TAKE PLACE IN A CLASS OR WHILE YOU ARE DOING HOMEWORK!!!!!

A very wise educator once told me that there are three types of learning that a person must balance book learning, spiritual learning and social learning. I feel we are missing a glorious opportunity to advance our social learning by focusing on our suggested readings as we are. When we know each other better we can have deeper and richer conversations about our readings on-line…when we are all home.

My students that I have Caramat got to take a trip to Edmonton last year. We were on the train for two nights each way, each kid got in trouble a couple of times and by the end everyone was glad that it was over. BUT…this past year it was all those students seemed to remember from last year. And by knowing each other better they were able to work better in class and were able to develop better finished products on their assignments.

So, who’s with me?

I’ll go back to my side of the room now.

Yes, I know I promised to have my definition of education technology tonight. I promise it will be there sometime.

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2 responses to “A Manifesto on Learning

  1. I too am questioning the amount of screen time versus face time I have had these past 4 days. In order to fullfill course requirements I am reading alone in my room each evening then blogging and posting discussion comments; speaking to my classmates on-line, rather than taking advantage of actually being on campus and interacting face-to-face. I blogged recently about feeling a bit like Dorothy without Tinman, Scarecrow or Lion … I’m surrounded by Wizard of Ozs behind the veiled curtains of their laptops. Even more disturbing, I am the Wizard of Oz behind the veiled curtain for my classmates! What I’m struggling with is completing the readings and assignments for the course yet having time in the day to make those important social connections with our cohort as well. I’m glad Bruce has crowned himself social coordinator and invited us all to the pub tomorrow. I hope to see you there. 🙂

  2. Good thoughts, Greg. I went over to the pub tonight on campus with a textbook thinking I would read a little while having a beverage before turning in. Well when I got there I saw people I knew and of course the reading went by the wayside in favor of the good conversation possibilities. The reality of the situation is that as much as we would all love to have those interactions happen less ‘on the fly’ it is logistically hard . We are all living in different places and have different habits so it may not be reasonable to think we will all be on the same page with regards to face-to-face interactions. I think the key thing is to enjoy them when they do happen. Like many things in life, they may have to take place by coincidence at first but a community will build.
    Gerona

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