Home > Uncategorized > The New Age of Learning

The New Age of Learning

I found this status update while checking in on my Facebook account today:

I’m sure everyone can remember exactly how their studying styles went down. Ranging from none at all to hours a night grinding your nose into a textbook, all studying habits had one thing in common. Most of your time was spent by yourself, learning only what the pages say (with exception to the occasional “study group” which had a tendency to get off topic rather quick). This picture symbolizes the change of how students today are learning. Students are able to learn far more efficiently just by having that immediate and direct link to their colleagues. Rather than our tired ways of scouring the textbook, searching for the one piece of information that is needed to understand to topic, students today have the learning process nailed down. They can identify the parts giving them difficulty, and then gain the relevant information through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as share their mastered knowledge with fellow colleagues having difficulty.

The development of personal learning networks, I believe, will be crucial in the lives of future students, young and old. We are quickly moving from an individualized learning experience to a perhaps global one. When students are allowed to freely utilize social networking, they quickly understand the value goes much beyond knowing what my BFF did on the weekend. Everyone has a certain number of Facebook friends that are rarely talked to but are never removed. Why? Because you never know when someone can help you out in a time of crisis.

As everyone starts on these networks, it usually is for fun. We want to keep in touch with our friends and so do kids. It’s important to understand that giving students unlimited access to their PLN (such as during school time) may not yield the most positive results, but teachers need to realize that their is always a bright side to everything. When you catch a student on Facebook through his mobile phone, it may not be totally fair to assume the student is detached from the lesson or even distracted at all. If teachers start embracing these new and innovative technologies, they will have a much deeper impact on their students and be able to teach in a connective and meaningful way.

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