As our world rapidly changes, the tools and resources we have access to dramatically impact our opportunities for learning. However, for educators to truly embrace the power of technology and create powerful learning experiences for their students, they have to experience this for themselves.
In an effort to support this in a recent class that I developed and taught for the University of San Diego’s online M.Ed program, the students (mostly teachers) were expected to engage in a 25 hour learning challenge. The basic prompt was this (you can view the full project description here):
- Identify a skill, talent, or activity that you would like to learn. Your learning target does not need to be education-related. You could learn a new hobby (e.g. learn to bake a soufflé), adopt a new sport (e.g. wakeboarding anyone?), or cultivate new skills within an existing practice (e.g. expand your dancing repertoire to include the tango).
- Set a goal for your target learning. How will you know when you’ve achieved success (e.g. I can jump the wake on my wakeboard without falling)?
- Identify resources to support your learning process. Resources can be people, organizations, websites, books, etc.
- Begin learning your target activity/skill. As you learn, for the next 4 weeks, monitor your progress through (at minimum) weekly blog posts.
- Use social media such as Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter to share your blog with friends and colleagues.