In my school’s ICT groups this term, we’ve been exploring the notion of “learning in the cloud,” the idea that much of technology-enabled learning taking places in the classrooms reflects the shift away from device-centric computing towards cloud computing, where a lot of our applications, tools and data reside on vast servers all around the world. Sound scary? It can be! How do we make the most of the affordances these technologies offer? Watch this space and talk to colleagues – our ideas on how to meaningfully use technologies in the classroom matter!
This week’s post comes from Mitch Joel, whose blog Six Panels of Separation explores marketing dimensions of social media. In this post, however, Joel examines his own informal learning in a technology-rich world. Some of the insights can really be helpful for articulating the changed nature of learning with cloud-enabled pedagogies. Joel points out a very simple truth about the idea of internet-mediated informal learning:
People will often tell me that they can’t wait to go on vacation so that they can catch up on their reading. They’ll also talk about the sabbatical that they’re taking to spend time learning. Here’s the truth: you can’t catch up on reading and you don’t need a sabbatical to learn.
Sure – we’re all short on time and if you’ve managed to get this far in the email, you’re doing well considering the time-poor pressures we all face as teachers. At the same time, using technology to “think smarter” and invest more time in our own learning does make us better teachers in the long run. As long as we keep exploring, using, sharing and experimenting, we’ll all end up winners.