Leila Meyer, from The Journal, recently discussed four principles of connected learning in a thought-provoking blog post. She describes connected learning as “education that uses digital media to engage students and encourage communication, collaboration and critical thinking.” It’s this type of education the Meyer believes will directly impact student success.
Make Learners the Focus
The first principle Meyer calls out is for instructors to make students the focus. She discusses students becoming lifelong learners, developing the skills they will need in the classroom as well as the future. Incorporating skills like email and digital citizenship can contribute to student success in the classroom and beyond.
Making the Connection
The next principle is helping students to connect personal interests with academic studies. Connected learning allows instructors to blur the lines a bit, allowing students to become more engaged based on personal interests. A couple of great ways to help students make the connection are through features like GaggleTube and the Gaggle Social Learning Wall, which both allow students to experience learning very similarly to how they experience life outside the classroom on social media.
Learning is Continuous
The third principle is the idea that learning never stops, especially in the digital age. There are always opportunities for students to engage in knowledge sharing and retention, so it’s important to link learning to school, home and the community. Discussion boards and mobile apps both allow students to join the learning conversation from anywhere, getting them to think outside of the classroom setting and make more creative contributions to the learning community.
Help Students Become Producers
When students have an opportunity to make something on their own, there are many lessons they can learn. By creating student blogs, you are giving them the opportunity to be creative through experimentation and problem solving.
By incorporating these four simple principles into the classroom, you’re encouraging students to become more engaged in the learning community, which spans more than just the classroom itself. Connected learning with a safe online learning and teaching platform is a great way to improve student success.