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  • Andrew T Schwab 7:00 am on June 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    The Missing Literacies – Networking to Learn #iste2015 

    The Missing Literacies – Networking to Learn

    Kids sitting in rows of desk. Silent classrooms. Individual worksheets. This is not how we learn in the real world. It was my experience in school, as it still is for many. But I went to school BT (Before Twitter) and BGHO (Before Google Hangouts). The extent of networking to learn, if we were lucky, was putting four desks together and working in groups. And if you asked a peer a question during a test or worked on a homework problem in a group and came back with the same answer, watch out!

    In college, some of my best learning experiences were working on group projects. We also used study groups to self organize around a specific course, topic or test. Both those group learning experiences were constrained by proximity and time. Enter Twitter and the rise of social media. Have you checked out an #caedchat lately?

    Networking tools like twitter and Google Hangouts (GHO) now allow the formation of groups of peers and experts to assemble around themes, topics and interests. These groups (or Personal Learning Networks) allow for just in time information requests, asynchronous collaboration and archived knowledge bases. If Google is the card catalog for the world’s information, then twitter and GHO are the university hallways and the study halls that make global personal learning networks possible.

    The world has changed. If we do not teach children how to build online networks to access learning resources, then we are failing to empower them as learners. If we don’t embrace technology to build personal networks of our own for learning, then we risk being left behind in a world of ubiquitous access to information and just in time learning.

    Why then do we not move into an era of learning to network and networking to learn? Why do we not teach building personal learning networks as a fundamental literacy of learning?

  • Andrew T Schwab 7:00 am on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    The Missing Literacies – Learning to Search #iste2015 

    The Missing Literacies – Learning to Search

    Back in the day it was reading, righting and rythmatic. Thinking about it, being able to read well to make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn made sense when content was primarily accessed in a structured and sequenced finite resource, aka the textbook. Being able to use a table of contents and an index were a critical part of the content access experience.

    How times have changed. When was the last time you used an index to look up something in a book? I can’t remember. The last time I looked up something, I used Google. My reading now is primarily done online, as is my research, but I remember long ago, the initial trip to the school library where we all sat through the lesson on using the card catalog. In college, I remember dreading having to use the much larger and more intimidating University library to lookup and find information for my class reports. Must have three references!

    I had what was probably a fairly typical experience of learning information access and retrieval during my formal education. That world no longer exists except in our schools. The University library is no longer the pinnacle of information repository. The ancient Library of Alexandria has been reborn in the Web. Information is now ubiquitous, dependent only on access from a sub $200 device and wifi. Google has become the card catalog to the world’s global library.

    Why then do we not move into an era of learning to search and searching to learn? Why do we not teach search as a fundamental literacy of learning?

    • Michael Simkins 3:12 pm on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Good point, Andrew. And guess what? I teach an online course at Foothill College titled, “Search and Research on the Internet!”

    • Lisa Waxman 3:40 pm on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      So true! Learning to search is a part of web literacy in many classrooms that require students to research. If you haven’t yet, you must read Alan November’s book about web literacy in the classroom. Thanks for bringing awareness to this undeveloped literacy.

    • Lisa Waxman 3:42 pm on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on the neoantiquated pedagogue and commented:
      This missing literacy was painfully evident when beginning a research unit in my grade 7 ELA class 3 years ago.

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