Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Teacher Today

We can get news in an instant. With the invention of the internet and social media, we have the ability to stay up to date on literally everything. Instead of waiting for a day to read about it in the paper, we are immediately exposed to new knowledge and information with just the click of a mouse. It is amazing. As George Siemens explains, in Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age , learners have the ability today to learn for tomorrow. This is why it is so important for teacher's to make learning meaningful. As educators, the thing to remember is that all the new information students learn effects the information that they already know. Learning is a social experience. When students are actively engaged with their environment, they are gaining knowledge. The transfer of knowledge from one person to another is a part of being immersed in the world around us. According to The Changing Nature of Knowledge, learners form connections, and knowledge is no longer "exclusively in individual minds." We will learn more when we can not only connect our knowledge with our own experiences, but also with the experiences of other's. 

A learner's unique interactions with the environment around them will influence their understanding. Connectivism thinks of this in reverse. Siemens states that "the ability to recognize when new information alters the landscape based on decisions made yesterday is also critical," meaning that new information will change the way we previously thought. Our world is constantly changing and learners need to alter the way they behave based on the tools and people around them. This is why I would consider a teacher today to be like rain. We can provide the basic necessities that students need to grow,   but the actual learning takes place as the students interact and change with the environment around them. 

Plants need rain, but most of their growth occurs in the way they interact with the world around them

1 comment: