July 17, 2013

What I Believe About Learning

I believe that everyone is capable of learning and wants to learn.

I believe that the deepest learning happens through play (even for adults). Play is the step in learning that takes you from a basic understanding to being able to creatively use knowledge, skills or tools for your own purposes. 

I believe that learning is connected.  You must access knowledge from mentors and peers to extend your learning.  You gain feedback about your progress and direction from others.  You, in turn, act as inspiration and a source of knowledge and feedback for others. Everyone has something to learn, and everyone has something to teach.

I believe that learning must be purposeful.  Knowing some facts or how-to is not learning about a subject, if you do not need that information or that skill and never use it, then you have not learnt it. 

Learning is never-ending.  There’s always more to learn about a subject and there are always more things you will be interested or need to learn about.

Learning needs space.  You need time free from interruptions to learn.  You need space to spread out your tools and leave a work in progress.  You need space to make mistakes and try again without fear.

I have been participating in clmooc over the past few weeks.  A group of participants came together over various forums to participate in a series of ‘makes’.  The main forum I used to access other participants was G+

The clmooc challenged me to use a variety of new tools during the makes.  Something that I experimented with was movie-making – both stopmotion and using Vine.  I was motivated to learn about how to use these tools by other participants of the mooc sharing their ideas and makes for these tools.  I connected to their use of these tools. 

I had a purpose for my experimentation with these tools as I tried to use them to realise my making vision for my clmooc make cycle. 

I played with the tools using tutorials, examples from others about what can be done and a series of failures until I achieved the results that I wanted. 

I got frustrated and left my work to come back to later.  I got frustrated when my children interrupted as I was working.  I found the space to stick with the learning.

As I experimented with the different tools, I discovered for myself the potential of the tools and gained an understanding of how and when each tool was best used.  This is learning I can draw on again.

As I reflect on my process of learning to use movie-making tools it reinforces my beliefs about learning.


Susan Stephenson said...

I agree 100%! I wish our society didn't equate play only with childhood - being playful and using play to learn are so good for all of us.

Val said...

Well and wisely spoken! I couldn't agree more!!


I think that you would really love Cal Newport's new book So Good They Can't Ignore You. Your emphasis on purposeful play is, I think, at the heart of the book. Let me know what you think or perhaps we could set up something in GoodReads?