Considering the formal and informal

Read a really interesting post on formal and informal learning and the impact of social networks on Sarah Robbins‘ blog.

The slideshow is well worth a view, particularly the exploration of the differences between what university education and social networks provide, and new conceptions of the role of the teacher in Higher Education:

  • teaching students to learn in an information economy;
  • guiding students to shape their own paths;
  • enabling students to access professional networks;
  • modelling lifelong learning practices;
  • relating as a more experienced community member.

I wholeheartedly agree with Sarah’s analysis, but feel – from my experience with both university staff – that we are still a long way away from this being an accepted model. I think that true teacher commitment to this paradigm is essential for its success – but this re-framing of role and loss of control clearly isn’t easy. I am really interested in ways to get lecturers to think about re-conceiving education – and ways to create the autonomous teacher as well as learner.

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