How We Learn Has Changed and Why it Matters

by Cathy on January 29, 2012 · 0 comments

in Ideas

Maybe my antennae is up but a common theme keeps emerging. I attended a volunteer training session at an art museum and the main message was that people now learn information in new ways. Therefore, the museum was implementing creative methods to engage visitors. A month ago, a client hired me to pull together research and write a white paper about the fact that religious institutions must engage the emerging generation in new ways. Why? They learn differently than previous generations. Then I read an article that explained the technology that college professors were employing in the classroom to connect with students. Why? They learn differently than previous generations. Each group cited different research but the findings were the same. You can learn from the principles below every time you are asked to speak before a group, lead a meeting, direct a team, connect with a group of teenagers, participate in a volunteer organization or seek to broaden your own learning.

1. The Lecture is Dead. The days when a teacher could engage a young audience in a 60-minute lecture with no visuals, just endless blah, blah, blah, are over.  NPR ran a segment recently in which some college physics professors (of all people!) realized that students weren’t learning physics through the lecture method. What these professors found was that …
2. Peer Learning is In. The professors spent just a few minutes at the beginning of class imparting basic physics information. Then the students broke into teams to explore the concepts further and learn from each other. (Listen to the following link if you want to learn more:  NPR: Lose the Lecture ) It worked. The entire class began understanding physics and doing well on the tests.
3. Technology is Huge. Whether you are tech savvy or not, the truth remains. Most learning in the present and future will involve technology. Educators are using a variety of tools to engage students and expand learning. Journalism students are using tablets to record interviews, edit and upload their audio files, and create story segments. University classes have created wiki sites where students can contribute and update information pertinent to the course. Professors are presenting material via podcasts and students are creating their own content using the same. HotSeat, which integrates with a student’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, allows students to post related information and questions during a college lecture to add to the information being shared. Professors can also use HotSeat to take a real-time reading of whether students are understanding the presentation to make adjustments as they present. Also, heavy, expensive and static textbooks are being replaced by interactive, constantly current electronic text books. Take a look …

4. Self-Learning is King. The model for learning has changed with the changing economic model. The agricultural society was the era of apprenticeship when people learned from their elders. The industrial age was the era of the institution when public schools became the norm. Now, we live in information age, which is the era of the learner in which the individual engages in self-directed learning. The teacher or leader is merely a facilitator and much information is imparted by software/technology. The new learning tools are portable devices, apps, video and 3D experiences and conferences/web content.

How are YOU learning and facilitating learning in this new world?



Three Apps That Expand Your Mind

by Cathy on September 28, 2011 · 4 comments

in Ideas

One of the joys of owning an I-phone is the endless opportunity to learn new things. Here are my three favorite apps, along with their corresponding web sites, that provide a continual source of stimulating ideas. (Click on the embedded link below for each to listen to a sample show.)

1. TED Mobile, and the corresponding TEDTalks video web site. TED, a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, began as a conference bringing together people from Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then, its scope has expanded to include two annual conferences, TED conversations, and the annual TED prize awarded to a great innovator.

Check out this interesting TEDTalk video by Ken Robinson, an imaginative (and funny) educator who discusses creativity and modern education.

2. NPR Addict, where you can tap into all the great NPR shows such as All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation and (my favorite) Fresh Air.

3. Stitcher, which allows you to listen to most podcasts through a live stream, rather than going through the trouble of downloading the show. My favorite podcasts include This American Life (which profiles everyday and famous people who are interesting), NPR’s Most Emailed Stories Podcast, and the Startup Success Podcast (which features clever start ups and the entrepreneurs who launched them).

Don’t let the conversation end there. Tell me your favorite apps or web sites that you turn to regularly to broaden your mind.



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