Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Connected Learning

I tried another Mind Mapping program, Inspiration Lite, to put Connected Learning in perspective. I like some aspects of the program. It is simple to add branches and intuitive about getting a cursor to pop up for typing. If you choose a template, you cannot eliminate branches in the FREE version. I ended up using a blank template. I liked adding only the branches I needed. It made more sense because I put the connections together from scratch. Erasing in Inspiration, in general, is more complicated then I prefer.

To summarize Connected Learning: it is multigenerational, social learning about an academic subject culminated by creating a product to be shared.

An area that is most familiar is "peer supported" learning. My son took professional guitar lessons at age 8. He didn't enjoy them, and he stopped. He took "Beginning Guitar" at school in 8th grade and loved it. There, he had buddies to learn from. They hung out an practiced for hours. In high school he took professional guitar lessons again (mostly to undo bad habits learned from his peers and from winging it!) and his skill grew exponentially. The same kind of thing happened in my backyard when I was growing up. We traded songs, gymnastics skills, and ice skating tips we had learned from others and we all grew and had tons of fun at the same time.

I also connected with the "production centered" learning. In order to create something meaningful, one must have knowledge, but also skills to make the knowledge meaningful to others. It is said that teaching is the best way to learn something. Creating a project to be shared is teaching, therefore a strong way to learn.

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