Sunday, February 8, 2015

Linear or Spiral: Learn Create Share Pedagogy

The way "Learn Create Share" trips off the tongue as three short sequential words can easily lead observers and new teachers into thinking this is a linear framework; 
Learn something, Create something to show or practise what you have learnt, then Share it with others.

It certainly starts out that way for most teachers new to this way of learning and teaching. Not because it is a complex framework, but because our young people use digital tools to access learning. And we have discovered that there are still a significant number of experienced teachers coming into our Manaiakalani schools as new teachers who are not at home in a digital world, and the graduates from our universities coming into teaching are certainly not. 

So while these new teachers are getting 'up to speed' with the technology required, a linear framework appears to be necessary.  This also applies to classes of children who are moving into 1:1 learning environments for their first year.  While the teachers are transitioning them from their previous blended learning environments, a linear, routined, scaffolded framework moves everyone more quickly from focusing on the technology to focusing on their learning.

As teachers and learners become at home in a digital world, thinking about Learn Create Share becomes more spiral and we hear many conversations about 'Create to Learn' and 'Share to Learn'.  Our researchers observe this in their visits to our classrooms and it is under the spotlight regularly at the various PLGs we run for our experienced teachers and school leaders.

Create to Learn
Comes with the idea that in starting with the Creative process powerful learning can emerge. In a previous post I quoted Sir Ken Robinson's mention of the Beatles starting out knowing three chords for the first song they wrote. Some of our schools value 'Break Through' time or 'Passion Projects' as part of learning and often we see a child start out with something they want to create and in the process deep learning occurs. Our annual film festival shares many examples of this from across our twelve schools.
We believe that in this environment cognitive engagement is happening, and teaching and learning is inevitably pushed above the line on the SAMR ladder.

This post by +Fiona Grant  shares the content of a professional learning day where the teachers explored the idea of Create to Learn.

Share to Learn
Similarly triggers cognitive engagement.  When learners are sharing with an authentic audience on a platform such as their blog or in a Google+ community for the teenagers, powerful learning opportunities occur.  Threaded conversations empower reflection, feedback and feed forward to occur. The contributions of experts and strangers inspire further learning to develop. This also occurs when learning is shared in face to face or 'real time' situations, but teachers have often remarked that in our analogue classrooms the pressures of timetabling, bells and deadlines meant that this opportunity would slip by.

The Manaiakalani teachers are continually inquiring into their own practice in this area as we work with determination to raise student achievement outcomes and prepare these digital citizens for a successful future.  

We still have much to learn.

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