Sunday, March 13, 2011

Inspire Adult Learners

A few weeks ago I realized that what I really want to do is Inspire Adult Learners, and this is a big part of what I have wanted to do all along. All the work I have done over the last 25 years that has included completing a Masters of Education, developing a lot of software, teaching adults in many different situations and building online communities has been toward one primary goal. I want to inspire adult learners to pursue their passions and use the current technology to assist and facilitate in this pursuit. If you are interested in directing your own learning; the technology available on the internet can provide you most of the tools you require to start being an inspired adult learner.

Learning happens with a story, some educational resources and good friends.

How to get started
I believe there are two primary activities along the trajectory of self-directed learning online; the consumption of materials and the production of materials. Start with consumption, then very quickly get into production.
  1. Start with blogging. There is no shortage of research indicating that reflecting upon a situation deepens the understanding of the situation. Writing to a blog is exactly that, and to have the blog public only increases a persons quality and further deepens learning.
  2. Get a better understanding of RSS. RSS is the how you are notified of when your favorite new information becomes available.
  3. Set up an RSS reader. Setting up your own RSS reader is like creating your own personalized online magazine that only contains articles you are interested in.
  4. Start tagging. Tagging allows you to create a personalized catalog of all the information you find on the internet.
  5. Further develop your producer skills. Write lots of blog posts about what you are interested, reflect (in writing) about all that you have learned. (Note: creating learning resources for your consumption on how to develop producer skills will be a big part of this blog over the next while)
  6. Iterate; Share... revisit old ideas, build on current ideas, have fun, write, blog post, learn, revisit old ideas, build on current ideas, have fun, write, blog post, learn, do it again...
  7. Engage; Share...tag interesting articles, subscribe to RSS feeds of interest, tag interesting articles, subscribe to RSS feeds of interest,do it again...
Make it all as much fun as possible... I'm going to further develop and reference open educational resources around all these topics, so stay tuned.