Learning Revolution.. great for a rebel like me

Learning Revolution.. great for a rebel like me

Traditional learning is about knowledge. Getting as much in your head so you can to use it when time comes to use it. But nowadays knowledge is available realtime, thanks to Google. Our brain is changing accordingly. No longer set up to act like an encyclopedia. Our brain is becoming a networking machine. Connecting the dots and helping us to make use of the information we find.

Hole-in –the-wall
That’s why asking questions is a much better way to learn, than just telling is as it is. Educational visionair Sugata Mitra started the experiment ‘a hole in the wall’. Making education & learning available for kids in a slum in New Delhi in India. Getting kids to teach themselves, starting with ‘how to use a computer’, but going way beyond that. Mitra makes use of the natural curiosity of children and this leads to impressive results. But more important it brings education to those who had no access to education before.

The experiment is now an institutionalised way of learning with over 100 computer stations across India and expansion to other countries . It also was the inspiration for the hit-movie Slumdog Millionaire. The theory of Minimally Invasive Education has proven to be a breakthrough in the traditional way of thinking in the area of education and has lead to great things, not only for the kids in India.

Learning playground
So what’s in it for me? As I’m not in a slum and don’t need a computer in the wall. I have my laptop and am online whenever & wherever I want. So how can I make use of this learning revolution? Here’s the answer: MOOC. Wow, how things are changing.

MOOC is an Massive Open Online Course. A development that started in 2008 and is now a trend that is unstopable (ps: I love this word). With all the great universities in the world – such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Erasmus – offering courses for free. Online, anytime. The most popular platforms being Coursera, Udacity, edX and Khan Academy. And combining this with for instance TED, a wonderful platform for inspiration, the world is open for anyone who is curious. A true learning playground.

Some courses also offer social interaction with other students, which adds to the networking effect. The trick is to limit your own enthusiasm, cause before you know it you’ve enrolled for too many courses. It happened to me, and I still have to hold my horses whenever I login on for instance edX, cause there are always new intriguiging courses to do. One at a time is now my motto.

Digital Literacy
This new playground of learning is not for all. It suits me, because it’s very ‘open’ and gives me the flexibility to do what and whenever I want. It also requires self-discipline, adaptiveness and digital literacy. Yes, as everything is happening online, you have to like being online.

 I just found out that although I am not a Digital Native, I am a Digital Resident. Great uh? I love the way this other vision of “digital” taps into the use of digital rather than your date of birth. Yes, part of my life is online and I like it.

As for adaptiveness, I did a social learning MOOC with a dozen colleagues. Most of them didn’t finish the course. They were put off by the unstructuredness and couldn’t cope with the social interaction part. I gather that’s because they are more used to (and have a preference for) structured learning. I ,on the other hand, although not too enthusiastic about the platform and design, got around those hurdles and actually enjoyed getting my way through the course while also interacting with the other participants online. I broadened my vision, could share my personal insights and opinion to inspire others and the dialogue helped me to get to know others, ask questions, dive into things that others shared and build my network. Yes, things are going my way…….

American Dream for the Next Generation (edX, MIT)
Hour of Code (Khan Academy)
A Networked Life (Coursera, University of Penssylvania)