Week 1 post

80%. That’s the percentage of people engaged in informal learning today because of the availability of web technologies! Staggering! On the one hand, the thought that people are more in charge of their learning than ever before, and that they are not dependent on a traditional classroom setting to gain knowledge and understanding is really appealing. And yet, it raises the question whether this technology-driven informal learning is all that it is hyped up to be? In his book (or “unbook as Jay calls it), Working Smarter: Informal Learning in the Cloud, Jay opines that informal learning should replace traditional learning in business settings. I’m not sure if I agree with Jay. Wouldn’t a combination of both the traditional and new be effective? How about one complementing the other?

Ok, I got the use of Youtube, Twitter to aid in our learning. But, Facebook seemed to be a bit of a stretch for me. But, apparently not. Here’s an article I found that might interest you: http://blog.efrontlearning.net/2010/11/facebook-for-e-learning-educational.html

. Even though it’s not yet possible to launch an entire e-learning course in Facebook (yet), you can take advantage of the Facebook Edu-Apps and have all your students interact with the content once they have formed a Facebook group. Huh.

I am very excited that the learning century is upon us, and that I get to be part of it. And, I think it’s great that time and space will not hinder us from gaining access to educational resources. But, I’m also wondering about the implications it has on us. Bonk’s article mentions that formal education till you are 30 will be the norm. Wow! I sure hope that our lifespan expands too.

As I was reviewing the learner rights in Bonk’s article, I realized that educators too will need to adapt to make this possible. Let’s just take right #5 for instance. What shift in strategy would an educator need to make to accommodate learners receiving feedback from anybody? Does the educator in charge then also allow those giving feedback to grade the students’ work? Or, do we have to get rid of grading all together? How would learning be measured then?  

While the learner rights list left me with more questions than answers, the learner responsibility list has me shouting Amen! As a learner, it’s important for me to own my learning. And #10 on the list is my favorite—don’t just learn to expand your knowledge, think about how your learning can benefit the next person.

It’s great to be part of the open world of learning. Accelerated learning, however, also means that what I learned yesterday has a lesser shelf life. And, that I might constantly need to catch up with the latest technology and information out there.