Have you ever been on your way to tailgate when you realized you forgot to post a comment to your class discussion board? What do you do? About face, go back to your dorm, sit down, plug away and miss out on the fun? Or forgo the assignment all together?
How about neither?
What do I mean? Well, with Blackboard Mobile Learn, you can check grades, grab presentations and documents, even post on your class discussion board right from your phone. And, now access to the app is only a few taps away on iOS or Android.
For years, students have been classified according to their learning style: visual, tactile, linguistic, and so on. Educators can then focus on those strengths so that the educational experience is optimized for that learning style. And we often talk about how to best accommodate the learning styles of today’s Active Learner.
But truthfully, the characteristics of active learners are still more idealistic than realistic for many educators. Access to devices is still an issue in some areas, comfort-ability and familiarity with tools and technologies are lacking, and responsible use policies are not in place to enable learners to take charge of their education. Ultimately, these skills and opportunities will benefit active learner’s always-on always-connected mindset now and as they prepare for their careers, but why and how?
Playgrounds and roller coasters are just for fun. Social Learning is fun too, but it serves multiple educational purposes and has tangible benefits for both the students and the institutions involved. In today’s classrooms, the idea of social learning is taking hold in a variety of ways. Educators are seeing that social learning may include external elements that could be regarded as ‘just for fun,’ like Facebook, Twitter and blogging, but that really these are beneficial to the learning experience. Experiencing it firsthand demonstrates how the interconnected, interactive nature of social learning amplifies the rate at which content can be shared and digested.
Take a look and see how social learning plays a significant role in the serious endeavor of educating today’s students for Duke University professor, Cathy Davidson. Are her techniques just ‘fun’ or important enhancements to the educational experience?
We’re myth-busting. Click here to read on: Social Learning Is Just for Fun
Are French fries the same as French toast? Is chocolate milk the same as chocolate cake? Just because two items share similar names (and are delicious), does not make them the same.
Such is the case with Social Learning and Social Media.
I agree with @dpeter who tweeted:
Why does this matter in the classroom? Social learning and social media can exist separately in the educational setting, or can co-exist in support of social learning, but they are not one in the same. Want to dig a bit deeper into the world of Social Learning? Here are some good resources to get you started.
We’re myth-busting. Click here to read on: Social Media Is the Same as Social Learning
Twitter, Facebook, and Google Hangout – all are new in the last few years. What’s not new, though? Social learning. For centuries, connections have been facilitated through a variety of means, and the aforementioned social tools are nothing more than another way for educators and students to make these connections happen.
Long before hashtags, likes, circles and all the other familiar trappings of social media, there was psychologist Albert Bandura. In the 1970s he established the most widely-recognized theory of social learning, observing three key variables in the social learning context – the learner, the behavior, and the environment – all influencing each other. There have been and continue to be many advantages to social learning. Given the connectedness of today’s learner in a 21st century learning environment, there’s a new direction for social learning. Does Bandura’s definition of social learning still cut it?
We’re myth-busting. Click here to read on.
John Dennett, Director, Product Management, Blackboard Mobile, has spent more than fifteen years as an educational technology professional. Prior to joining the Mobile team in 2011, John worked as a Blackboard Learn Solutions Engineer for more than five years and spent most of those years managing the North American Higher Ed team. Before joining Blackboard in 2005, he worked as a charter team member on MIT’s pivotal OpenCourseWare initiative and previously managed web services and courseware for the University of Colorado at Boulder. Tweet John @jgd3.