How networks change pedagogy

Explaining connected learning is tricky, as many don’t realise just how it transforms they way we learn. That is not to say it makes learning better — unless you learn how to do it well. I’ve seen lots of infographics to explain personal learning networks, but wanted to explain how information and knowledge streams. Not allowing connected learning reduces the potential of using 1:1 in the classroom. Many teachers do not understand why 1 to many broadcasting isn’t as effective as it once was – largely because they can’t visualise it. *Teaching content to the test and coaching for the exam is a good way to past a test, but I am talking about learning learning here – not the same thing at all.

Even in the non-ICT classroom, the teacher streams information. One student ‘gets it’ and starts to store it before the others. As more students grasp what is happening, the teacher becomes more effective. The problem is that not everyone is going to ‘get’ it from a single stream and that teachers are fine tuned to classroom noise levels. A noisy room is a sign of lack of control – and it can be — if your strategy and philosophy is that learning by absorption is effective.

I’ve always found it odd that when a teacher streams content to students — and they get it, the lesson is often stopped as the teacher deters them from ad-hock peer-discussion. In this short video, I’ve tried to illustrate how connecting students and teachers in a network changes the flow of learning. The caveat is that the learning has to be compelling and well delivered – simply dropping ad-hock chat into a bored class will not improve anything.


2 thoughts on “How networks change pedagogy

  1. Excellent example Dean. We just need to get the DET and others to allow this to happen unrestricted unlike the way it is being conducted at the moment through the Connected Classrooms idea, which is hard to book the room within your own school, let alone organising another school, Teacher and class on the other end. With all these great ideas accessibility is always an issue inside a closed environment. Keep pushing.

  2. This is a great visual explanation of the value of social networks to enhance student (and teacher!) learning. It will be something that I definitely share with the more reluctant members of our school community.

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