It’s alright for you John, but how do I keep up with all that’s out there?

…this was one of the most frequent questions I was asked when I was working as an eLearning Adviser for the North West Regional Support Centre (Sadly no longer with us).

You only have to look on Twitter, Google+, Scoop.it, LinkedIn etc., to see FE & Skills stakeholders, doing a lot of talking about:

  • blended
  • challenged-based
  • flipped
  • hybrid
  • inquiry-based
  • project-based

…learning, just to name a few.

I probably don’t help as I am still constantly coming across new tools and ideas of how to implement them within the learning environments, and sharing them via my bi-monthly eMagazine.

So over and over again, educators are inundated with ideas of new instructional strategies and digital media tools they can use in today’s learning environments, with their learners; focusing on maximizing student learning.

No wonder FE & Skills practitioners have difficultly knowing where and how to start, asking yet again

“How do I keep up”?

There’s no doubt that teaching and learning has been changing, albeit slowly in some cases, in today’s 21st century learning environments and that the digital media world is making significant changes to how learners learn and how practitioners deliver their courses today.

So, to enhance current practice…

“…how do learning providers continue to implement new strategies and new tools on a daily basis?”

My response to this question is quite simple…

Johnladder“One step at a time!”

Which translates to…

  • one instructional strategy at a time or
  • one tool at a time or
  • one skill at a time

Depending upon their current skills and/or knowledge, Practitioners can get overwhelmed very quickly when they learn new tools and strategies, along with how to implement them well in today’s learning environments.

Instead of focusing on trying to keep up, they need to focus on that one skill set they want to work on with learners:

  • this week
  • this month
  • this assessment period
  • this year

e.g. Maybe they’re considering increasing one of the 4 Cs…

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

…Skills.

Well, take one C at a time giving any new tool, or strategy, a fair chance to see how learners respond and learn while implementing it within the learning environments.

Don’t focus on the huge lists of items they may want to try, instead whittle away at the list step by step!

One other thing…

Before looking at what tools and strategies are available, practitioners must use the results of…

  • Learner feedback,
  • Teaching observations
  • their own reflections

…to decide on what it is they want to achieve/do/enhance/introduce etc., and, when they are clear, and only then, is it time to consider the tools and strategies that are available to potentially meet their needs!

quoteThat way, their selection from the new tools and strategies available, is more likely to…

  • meet those identified needs and/or
  • enhance their current practice.

CPD5 copyJohn Dalziel
Retired eLearning Adviser
acljohn.com

 

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