Project reflection confirms the value of social learning

Recently, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been involved in a global project with two overseas schools (Finland and USA) within Flickr. Gradually my evaluation of each week’s outcomes have been written and cross-posted on this blog.

Today I completed my reflection on and evaluation of weeks 6 – 8 which you can read on the project’s blog. Re-reading the students’ contributions,  the value of social learning has been reconfirmed. If I had the chance to do it again, I wouldn’t hesitate.

I thought I’d cross-post Week 8, so here it is.

Week 8 – What does learning mean to you?

Take a photo that somehow represents learning to you.

Write about what learning means to you, where and how you learn best, school learning and outside school learning, your feelings about learning.

To some, learning was best represented by a simple pencilcase.

Photo by ryanrau

while others saw learning in relationships outside of school.

Photo by andresg201.usa

Many students’ reflective and evaluative skills were impressive. My guess is that the personal topics enabled the best kind of analysis because students were able to choose an aspect of their lives which was meaningful.

This is my father and my nephew. Isn’t he amazing! I think so. They are both learning so much. My nephew, about everything around him and how to interact and my father, about being a grandfather and everything that means. I really love that this shows how we never really stop learning and that there is always something new to experience.

I tend to learn more from project-based and hands-on learning as well as auditory learning. Though, I am good at standard school learning. I love learning new things and exploring topics. As long as it is something I like. Math, unfortunately, is not my forte. Reading and writing is more up my alley. But overall, I hope I continue to learn for the rest of my life. 🙂

We may not often ask our students to reflect on what learning means to them, or how they learn best, but the project’s responses made me realise how valuable this kind survey would be.

Many posts were endearing for their honesty indicating that students felt safe within the global cohort. This is testament to the respect and encouragement students consistently showed each other. It’s so important to recognise this when so many educators are afraid of trying out online, collaborative projects, fearing they might ellicit bad behaviour from students.

Photo by JamesMau

This surrounding basically describes the environment in which i like to learn in. One which is quiet, peaceful and relaxing. It’s hard for me to learn in a noisy and loud environment because there are too many voices going through my head, which then doesn’t allow me to lock in and concentrate.

Learning is a pretty big thing to me because it helps me get through each day and builds me up for what I want to do later in life. I can’t say that I like school but I’m there to learn and its part of my life.

Photo by timbau

This photo is of the book shelf we have in our study. Learning for me can sometimes be really fun or sometimes it can be horrible, depending of the subject. I like English, Maths, Psychology and Sports Science.

(comment) I feel like that too, it mostly depends on how I feel that morning. If I’m super tired and just want to go to sleep, I wont be in the mood to learn anything. But if I woke up good, I don’t feel tired and I’m not complaining, I want to learn. 🙂

Why don’t we realise the value of social learning and take learning out of the classroom, out of the hands of the teacher as ‘sage on the stage’ and into peer learning?

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7 Comments

Filed under 21st century learning, Social learning

7 responses to “Project reflection confirms the value of social learning

  1. Judith

    Brilliant work Tania! So amazing.

  2. As always, I appreciate your gracious comments, Judith. But seriously, it’s a worthwhile project which could be modified as desired. The students have brought so much to the project.

  3. Kim

    Congratulations Tania on embracing social networking and enabling your students to connect with others – rich learning on so many levels has occured in this project!

    You inspire me… 🙂

    • Thanks, Kim. It’s been so much fun, I’d recommend it to anyone. Just think what we could do if we could use Skype and Elluminate at school.

  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention Project reflection confirms the value of social learning « Brave new world -- Topsy.com

  5. This is a wonderful post, Tania. My students and I are regular participants in collaborative global projects. The value of such work is immeasurable. The kids exchange thousands of emails sharing passions, ideas, photos, stories, and meaningful information about community and culture. We were fortunate to have Skype unblocked this year and have recorded hours of video of our conversations around the planet. I admire you for demonstrating the importance of learning through social networking.

    Best,
    Rick

    • Thankyou, Rick, your comments are very encouraging. I have to admit, sometimes I have doubts since nobody else is doing this kind of project at my school, and when it’s finished, nothing has changed. Teachers keep teaching curriculum, and I’m looking for another teacher to convince to do a similar project. Often it just feels like I’m inconveniencing teachers, interrupting real learning. That’s the good thing about writing it up – it makes the learning transparent.

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