Monday, November 17, 2008

Project-Based Learning

This week I was struck by the sudden convergence of the readings we have done, our discussion in class, and the movement toward conceptualizing and determining the future learning environments we are developing in our groups. 

Articles, blogs, and wikis all seemed to be essential and meaningful tools to "get the job done" for weekly assignments this quarter ...but somewhat in isolation.  I realized the importance of each of these components in their own right at various junctures along the way, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to test myself by entering into personally uncharted realms of technological access.  But the links between these tools (and those that they will likely beget) and learning designs and implementations for the future were not explicit in my understanding.
Then, it was as if the clouds parted...

Working with my group, we discussed the four Cs of our learning environment.  As we worked and planned, it became apparent that, woven within the tapestry of the culture, climate, context, and content must be both the cutting edge technology necessary for student success in a global economy of the future, and the element of human exchange and interaction that these tools will enable and elicit. 
In considering the environment for the learning institution we are creating, our group discussed the need to engage students in both their understanding and knowledge, and their investment in their own learning.  (That this is essential may seem obvious; however, the commitment to doing so is often less of a given in the educational community.)  Engagement is an essential component in the process of learning and in caring about learning.
And so engaged, I recognized how my own learning in developing this project and over the course of this quarter has been a process.  That that process is bringing me through stages of wondering how to complete the simplest of tasks in the realm of technology, to doing so; and from reading-related wanderings concerned with how a world of technology would allow for a world of humanity seems to be a great unfolding in itself... In the midst of this revelation I recognize that there is more (much more) to learn.
But the beauty of it is, now I am engaged.  And I am beginning to learn in real time.           

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