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Re: [learningfromeachother] New Working Group: Learning From Each Other

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  • Pamela McLean
    Where do we start in this group? What is it that we want to learn from each other? As Andrius explained in his introduction to this group, I am interested ICTs
    Message 1 of 3 , May 30, 2006
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      Where do we start in this group? What is it that we want to learn from
      each other? As Andrius explained in his introduction to this group, I am
      interested ICTs and increased opportunities for self-directed learning.
      This means that I am interested in the changing roles of teachers and
      learners now that ICTs are included in the learning process.

      I know that Andrius is here already - I don't know who else has arrived
      - if anyone - so I will start by reflecting on what (and how) I have
      learned from Andrius (not only when we met, but also as a result of
      meeting). Our initial meeting was through an e-introduction via mutual
      e-contacts - so ICTs have played a part from the start..

      My impression of Andrius is that he is knowledgeable and shares his
      knowledge generously so it would be hard to spend time with him and
      learn nothing. We first met on May 13th - but not for long enough - so
      we met again on May 15th. We have also had a follow-up discussion on
      Skype - and now we meet again here (more ICT enabling of learning). It
      seems that Andrius is not a man who gets to know people via
      organisational labels or small talk - and I'm not really interested in
      that either - so I found him refreshingly direct and thoughtful.. For
      me, the result of spending time with Andrius was that I started looking
      in new ways at knowledge and information that I already had . In
      retrospect I realise that, through his interest and encouragement, he
      gave me "permission and opportunity" to consider what I was learning and
      what I wanted to learn next in the projects I am working on (rather
      than "what I need to do next to move ther projects forward").

      His intervention was a catalyst for a learning leap. He was helping me
      to move forward in my studies - so he was acting in some way as my
      teacher, He definitely wasn't in "sage on the stage" mode - acting as
      "the source of infromation" - but he wasn't "guide on the side" either
      - guiding me through the content. It was something different - something
      I am still reflecting on.

      I have just skimmed through Andrius' "Learning from First Hand
      Accounts" email to this group - and have printed it out to read properly
      later. (I see another one "New Working Group: Learning From Each Other".
      I won't be reading that until I have sent this, so will not be referring
      to it here).

      I like the analysis and clear thinking in "Learning from First Hand
      Accounts" - I hope I will absorb some of those ideas and structures as
      we learn from each other here. The "voice" that he was writing with in
      there reminded me of books related to counseling. It suddenly occurred
      to me that when Andrius had acted as a "learning catalyst" he had done
      it by being a kind of "learning counselor" - taking the "pastoral role"
      of the teacher - rather than the curriculum/content focused role of the
      teacher as learning guide. We had looked in considerable detail at what
      I was learning - the "curriculum content" - when we discusseed the
      project I am working on - but the priorities shifted when we started to
      look seriously at what I really wanted to study and my personal
      motivation .

      The pastoral role is one I had previously overlooked when I had
      considered the various roles played by teachers, self directed
      students, "information sources" and ICTs. Self directed students often
      don't need anyone else to guide their studies, and when it comes to
      content they get that from the Internet or discussion with their peers.
      In many cases they don't need a teacher to assign them work or to mark
      it or to accredit their final level of performance and knowledge - but -
      the occasional session with a learning counselor - I reckon that can
      really help a self-directed student to refocus and get back on the fast
      track.

      Pam
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