I am a 21st century learner

A few solid months back I began this M.Ed learning journey by writing:

A professional goal is to solidify and expand my knowledge of digital teaching and learning

I dove into this subject head on and wrote early on:

I thought I would scan through Starkey, L. (2011) but a while later I was still reading. A huge Qs is how to get educators and indeed the education system to make the shift in pedagogy that is suggested.

In  a small collection of my notes, housed in Evernote, my reaction to this reading was documented as follows: 

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 8.20.45 pm

Such an enthralling concept…Innovative!

Within the context of INF530 the digital age students have been myself and colleagues such as Graham, Bec, Heather and The Other Simon. We have learnt from each other via our digital connections and created new knowledge and developed new understandings. We have participated fully and thus internalised the above ideal. Perhaps we have experienced Peeragogy?

While accessing knowledge networks, I have experienced the participatory culture that is at the foundation of 21st century learning.

I have also begun to develop a deeper understanding of connectivism, in a way that cannot be learnt by the reading of a blog post or listening to a video.  Consequently, I discovered the answer to a question that I posed a few months back:

What does this statement mean? “the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing” taken from Starkey (2011) and your subject page.

It is vital that we expose our students to this concept to our students and explore with them the connectivist idea that learning can be distributed outside of the learner.

Recently,  I read a post by Steve Wheeler, where he discusses using technology as a mind tool to extend cognitive abilities.

Via experiencing online, participatory learning, I have also learnt that technology, if used appropriately, can extend cognitive abilities (thank you Evernote). I have also become more adept at dipping into the flow of knowledge using tools such as Twitter. These insights have changed my views of 21st century tools that allow digitised knowledge to flow, from node to node, through the social networks that we are a part of.

I have developed strong network awareness, a vital 21st century literacy, by focussing on readings authored b Charles Kadushin, once of the founders of the social network field.

My views and understandings of an educational professional in digital environments have been matured by these studies and the social interactions that have taken place around this learning journey.

Learning anywhere, anytime is a reality for me:

And thus education is at a cross-roads, being disrupted by a ubiquitous spread of digital technologies.  The challenge is to now develop 21st century pedagogies that accept the reality of knowledge networks. The goal of 21st century educators should be to empower students by placing them at the epicentre of their learning: researching, curating, creating and publishing their learning, therebye contributing to the global narrative and in the process constructing their own knowledge.

Take the technology for granted, let it fade into the background and focus on and develop new pedagogies that match the realities of a 21st century classroom.

I wrote in a previous post the following words:

the paradox of innovation without change

The paradox would be to have digital innovations flow into our lives without any real change to the design of classrooms and also the pedagogies that make them places of learning.  Our students demand more than digital textbooks. They want to participate and they do want to learn.

This is the responsibility of an educator in the 21st century.

I must end by acknowledging the professional support of Judy O’Connell, a true 21st century educator and learner.

Thanks to you too Mr. Moodle for your support.

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Information Fluency

‘Information can only be power if you have the skills to use it to develop your journey and turn facts into knowledge. Knowledge is only powerful if it is important to you and your context.’ Richard Gerver.

The world of the 21st century learner is illustrated clearly in the following Youtube clip.

Where do you and I fit into this world?

I am an educator but firstly I am a learner.

I am living through an education revolution. My learning is now mostly in a digital format.

The pace of change I am faced with is staggering.

The world in which I live is so full of knowledge it’s hard to grasp.

I am a connected learner. I communicate with a plethora of people via social networking tools such as Facebook. Some of these Facebook connections are international and although I have met them all, some of our relationships are now purely digital.  I also share knowledge with hundreds of people via Twitter and Google+. My Professional Learning Network continues to grow and grow.

I sense the hyper-connected world in which I live.

I am just a node amongst nodes.

I am developing strong network awareness, which is viewed as an important element of web literacy (Rheingold 2010).

I am also consuming, producing and communicating information like never before.  Therefore, you will find me on Flickr, Soundcloud, YouTube, Twitter, WordPress and more.

I truly am a participant in the globalized world.

And where am I heading? According to the above video, into a world with more people and fewer resources. A busy and competitive world. Perhaps engaging with the Internet of things. On that note. I would love to get my hands on Google glass! I suspect my students would enjoy this technology as well.  😉

In this increasingly digital world I am trying to decide what is more important: the acquisition of knowledge or the development of skills? Reading the blog post Knowing and Doing is helping me to clarify my ideas on his issue. I do know that my students like to learn how to do things in preference to simply learning about things.

I am realising that so far in this M.Ed journey, apart from the knowledge that I have engaged with, it is the skills I have begun to developed that will carry me forward as a 21st century learner. I sense I am developing strong information fluency which is the the capacity to search for, use, and respond to information.

My administrative tool of choice has been Evernote and I am so pleased that I have diligently and patiently collected, curated, tagged and filed digital information in a way to render it easily accessible and searchable.

Quite a few years ago I did my BSc (Hon) thesis. The opening pages of my published thesis contain the following words:

“Wisdom is the principle thing. Therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting, get understanding.  Proverbs 4:7

Even ancient writers and thinkers were pondering over what constitutes good learning.


Rheingold (2012) Knowing and doing. Accessed via http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/knowing-and-doing.html

Rheingold, Howard. (2010). Attention and other 21st century social media literacies. EDUCAUSE Review 45(5).


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