What does learning mean?

by langwitches What does Learning mean?
Originally uploaded by langwitches

Silvia Tolisano at Langwitches expresses the energizing wish that we educators (teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, and ed-technicians) come together to conduct learning in the 21st Century.

Period.

Technology is here. And as Bill Ferrier states:  “I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m tired of schools hammering out wonderful cliches like, “We’re teaching students to be life-long learners,” yet doing little to examine the ways in which “learning” has changed over time. We’re stuck in the mindset that “learning” means sitting at desks plodding through a pre-determined course of study delivered by a teacher.”

Read Kevin Conion’s review of Tony Wagner’s “The Global Achievement Gap” to understand what learning and teaching mean today– and tomorrow.

Then come back to Langwitches whose words prompt me to think:

How can we achieve the big picture of learning if everyday we focus on one skill at a time? — and neglect the role of technology in learning skills — or applying them as we learn them in collaboration with other students around the world to explore and understand the world and each other?

The shareholders do support the conductor — the teacher — who orchestrates learning so students can choose and apply skills when needed to accomplish the tasks of his/her everyday life in positive and successful ways. We just need to extend our support to the current realities.

What are the tasks of everyday life? How about these:
The Kiwis for Kenya Project
Culture Quest
Planting a Hummingbird Garden.

What does learning mean? Learning means understanding the world to live successfully in the world. Projects like these look at the world through human eyes instead of through mandated skills because it is in living that we desire to learn. And the teachers’ orchestration of the learning environment encourages and supports all students, guiding them to become powerful through knowledge and action in their lives.

“The conductor of an orchestra does not make a sound…he depends for his power on his ability of making other people powerful.” Benjamin Zander

This beautiful image created by Silvia Tolisano sings for all shareholders — the tech-world hums around us, so let’s look at the tools available, and let’s blend the rhythm of the tools with the melody of curriculum so our students will dance to the beat of learning. Do help us harmonize because the kids are already there.

Thanks Silvia.

[also posted here ]

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