Becoming an Active Learner

Just wrapping up from ITSC11 in Portland and a previous conference send me a link to a survey from participants. This one frustrated me a bit: Here’s the thing…first of all I’m never going to run a session that goes “Click here, now click here, now type here” I’m sorry, that’s not my style and if that is the reason your coming to a session at a conference then you’re telling me you are not an active motivated learner. That’s as bad as kids coming into our classrooms and saying “I don’t want to think, just tell me what to do, what to learn so I can learn it.” Learners take responsibility for their learning and me telling you to click here, then click here isn’t going to help you learn it because the learning is out of context anyway. How many times have you had previous show you how to do something only to go to do it a couple days later and not remember? Learning does not happen if there is no context for the learning to take place. I think the other thing that bothers me about these comments (this isn’t the first, and I’m sure not the last) is in every presentation I start by giving everyone permission to be off task and do what they need to do as a learner. If you want to click, go click, go learn. I never expect you to listen, or be active with what I’m saying. If what I’m saying isn’t motivating you, isn’t pushing you, isn’t what you need as a learner then that’s my fault not yours and go be off task.  On the other end of the spectrum of course you have educators like intrepidteacher in this reflective blog post about a resent conference who is frustrated that many sessions are still doing the click here, then click here type workshops. So here it is: If you are looking for a presentation that is all about the tool and has nothing to do with the pedagogy or how and why you would use it…I’m not your man. If you want a presentation where people just sit and get and don’t want to take responsibility for their own learning….I’m not your man. That doesn’t mean we won’t “play” or “dabble” with technology. At ITSC we played with blogs for 2 hours, but people were free...

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New Year, New Theme, and Free Stuff

SunSet from Condo in seattle Yawn…..stretch…..and slowly pulling myself back into the real world after almost three weeks of vacation that included little time on the computer and a lot of time with friends and family. The way holidays should be. The big technology gift this year actually went to my wife. Her sister bought her the new Kindle which is perfect for her. She lugged 5 books home for vacation…now all of those will fit in this tiny little device.  So the new year is off to a great start. Flight back to Bangkok was uneventful (which is a good thing when flying) and I’m all set for the next two weeks and my reverse instruction experiment that I blogged about here. I actually have 6 teachers that I’ll be working with over the next two weeks. You’ll be seeing a lot of blog posts reflecting on how this is going. If you haven’t actually been to the site in awhile you might want to stop by and check out the new look. The home page is my favorite pulling in the lasted Tweeted articles from the blog. Thanks to Alec and the team at Folliovision for helping to design the new site. Have a look around and see what you think. Still working on a few sidebar and menu options but for the most part, this will be the look for 2011. Free Stuff The real reason why you clicked on this post. 🙂 RunKeeper Pro free through January    My wife and I have been into running these past few months and I have to say that this iPhone / Android App has gone a long way in keeping us motivated. RunKeeper uses the GPS on your smartphone to plot how far, fast and the pace of your run. It then uploads the data to the RunKeeper website where you can keep track of how you’re doing. My wife loves the cute little e-mails she gets when she has hit a new goal such as “Longest Distance”, or “Best Time”, or “Best Month”. She also loves the fact she can see right away how far she ran and view the route on her phone (HTC Desire, OS Android). Of course I like the geekier site of the app. The ability to share your run on Facebook or Twitter as soon as you finish, and with the Pro version...

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