Rote learning

Some recent articles on rote learning and some of the problems it can create:

You can’t rote learn for life (theage.com.au)

HSC English criticised as rote learning exercise (abc.net.au)

Peer learning

When talking about education, we often talk about the ‘teacher’ and the ‘learner’, with the implication perhaps being that the only way to learn is to have a ‘teacher’. Something not discussed much is how learners can learn from each other. Donald Clark makes some points about peer learning in the article linked below:

7 compelling arguments for peer learning

Adaptive learning

Wouldn’t it be great if learning could be adapted to suit individual learners? This is the ideal, and technology may be able to play a role here. The following links have more information about a platform aiming to do this:

Knewton, The Adaptive Learning Company, Receives $33 Million To Revolutionize Learning (includes video – SingularityHub.com)

Power your content with the Knewton Adaptive Learning Platform (knewton.com)

Math Readiness For College (knewton.com)

‘How Online Innovators Are Disrupting Education’

Another article about how online education is changing things. Yes, it has an US focus, but many of the points are still relevant. See what you think:

How Online Innovators Are Disrupting Education

I agree with the point made that “online education isn’t the one and only teaching tool.” As we have mentioned previously, the tools used need to met the needs of the learner. Another point I found interesting is the comments in response to the article. There certainly are a wide range of viewpoints.

39 Sites…

A site with links to other sites about using iPads in education:

39 Sites For Using iPads in the Classroom

Does education need an upgrade?

In the article linked below, Virginia Heffernan writes on the subject of whether education needs an upgrade to get learners ready for the ‘digital age’. Virginia quotes figures that indicate that many of todays learners will be working in jobs that don’t even exist today. Read the article at:

Education Needs a Digital-Age Upgrade

Did you read the comments as well? These can give an idea of the range of views people have about the subject, and they vary widely.

So what does this mean? Much will depend on your point of view. I think one of the issues is how do we design and deliver learning for something we don’t yet know. We cannot do that effectively. But we can give learners the skills they need to get ready for it, even if what we have to deliver now is limited by training packages or curriculum. One to do this is to help them learn how to learn, then they will be able to learn what they need when they need it (just in time learning).

This is best done by being a facilitator, helping the learners in ways that suit them. Use technology as a tool. Incorporate the use of technologies where appropriate, but help the leaner see that the tech is a tool to learn what is needed, not the end in itself.

Tech helps students

According to a survey from the US, the use of technology can help students be more productive. See the links below:

Educators see link between technology, student ‘productivity’ (smartplanet.com article)

‘Making the Grade’ – New CompTIA Study CompTIA press release