I’ve been reflecting on how we teach and learn…not with students, but with colleagues in professional development.

Unfortunately, many of us (myself included) don’t always model the use of the strategies we know are most effective for learning. Many PD workshops or presentations are the typical “sage of the stage” fair. And I’ve heard from several different teachers in master’s programs about how dry their graduate courses are.

Good teaching and learning involves students being engaged and active in their own learning. Technology isn’t a necessary component of this, but it can certainly be a useful tool.

As I’ve started incorporating tools like blogs and wikis in workshops, I’ve found that many participants are more engaged. A large part of this is providing options (differentiating instruction). Some people would rather post to a blog; others would rather write notes on post-its; still others would rather just sit and talk. I’m even starting to see the value of Twitter and virtual environments as learning tools.

Everything we can add to the mix provides more tools to reach learners, whether they are peers or students, and that all leads to more engaged learning.

How we learn

One thought on “How we learn

  • July 28, 2007 at 5:13 am

    Great points Karen. As you stated, technology isn’t a necessary component in students being engaged and active in their own learning, but I definitely think that it is a huge motivator for some. It’s such a Catch 22 sometimes when we are teaching isn’t it?

    I’ve also begun to use wikis and blogs more and more in my PD offerings. The more we do this the more exposure these tools will be seen as learning tools.

    The challenge is choosing the appropriate tool for the learners we are working with. Knowing your students/colleagues well is an important part of this.


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