Social Learning

My learning this semester has really branched into two areas. On one hand, I have been learning about photography for my own interests to incorporate into my final project. On the other, my headlong dive into this class has taken on a world of its own in my thought process. After reading this week’s article, my learning has only become enhanced. I am building a strong understanding of how literacy is evolving, and more importantly, how to bring it to the attention of educators around me.

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Lankshear effectively analyzes why collaborative learning is crucial to the success of students. Social learning is essential for a “change in understanding…through interaction.” Societal contexts form and mold how we learn and interact in our communities. In an environment where we can no longer be information receivers, and the internet holds the facts that used to epitomize intelligence, we must look at being innovation seekers. Our social and cultural circumstances are requiring us to innovate in new ways. Collaboration and social learning prove to create deeper understandings, and ultimately lead to innovation and problem solving.

The chapter gave several examples of why we, as educators, need to shift our concept of what learning looks like. Lankshear points out that “teaching and learning are out of sync for future lives.” If we continue to follow a model of “learning about” things, we are simply becoming redundant informers of information that can be found in a multitude of places. Rather, we need to become educators of “learning to be,” where our students learn the skills to become problem solvers through collaboration in their community. Ultimately, if we enable students to shine through the process of seeking knowledge, they will become members of a community of interest, and may innovate a challenge or problem that faces their community. At that juncture, they will then be learners of future problems, not stagnate information that Google holds for us.

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