13 October 2015

An Ecosystem for Learning


Ecosystems of learning may be as rich and diverse as the wealth of materials and activities an educator cares to introduce in classrooms.  Under pressure to meet testing standards, teachers often have to ignore learning opportunities - a reality which holds true for both language teachers and others from different fields of study.  English language lessons often become the predictable structure of what an observer wishes to see, in order to tick boxes. 

So, dare I ask where is the learning? 

Dare I ask why a learning ecosystem must be so predictable, so routine, so uninspiring (at times)?

Living at a time when students need to be comfortable with a range of literacies, it is misleading to believe that learning is reflected in exam/test scores and endless drills. 

Learners, including language learners, need to explore, to have different worlds introduced into their classroom world. It's not only introducing digital technology into the classroom - it's giving students the opportunity to mix, to blend literacies, to create and in the process, to discover learning - for learning how to learn is also part of what education should be. 


As for discovery, The
National Geographic Learning  has a special section with activities for English Language Teaching which is definitely worth looking into.

There are also guides for educators, should they be required. 



TweenTribune is another rich resource for learners , with a wide range of topics to meet different interests in a classroom. 









Newseum is yet another source where students 
can explore and learn with. There are lesson plans for teachers, interactive tools and a range of learning activities for both educators and learners. 



Ecosystems of learning need to stretch up, stretch outwards and not be constrained by classroom walls and exams - regardless of how relevant feedback and assessment may be.

I dream of crispness and excitement in the air. Of pleasure in discovery.

I dream of jewel coloured ecosystems of learning. 

What will your learning ecosystems look like this Autumn?




Further Suggestions:










Note:

I'd like to thank Mark Curcher, programme director of Global Education - TAMK, for reminding me of Pasi Sahlberg recent article above mentioned.





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