Life-long learner, how many times have you heard or seen that saying describing one’s self. When asked what it looks like, you envision a scholarly person reading. But in today’s world all you have to do is walk down the street, pop into a restaurant, be in line, or just be. All walks of life from age 2 to 102 are on their mobile devices. Everyone is accessing data, looking at data, taking pictures, or creating videos. Before the internet and mobile devices, when students asked a question, we as the “sage” would offer up the answer. In our minds THAT is when learning was happening. We used to call this “a learning moment.” Today that happens every week, day, hour, and minute. Everyone that has access, is learning. Just ask a new user of a smart phone, their reply is “I don’t know how I operated before I had this.” It truly is life-altering. Access 24/7 on any question, map, or topic your heart desires.
The question to all is not how can you instill life-long learning, that is happening already, but how do you contribute and collaborate with the learning you have just accessed, taking it to the next level. Do you keep all the “jewels” to yourself or are you contributing to innovation?
The frustration is the lack of contribution. Yes, we all post pictures and collect cool videos, but if you are NOT contributing or allowing your students to contribute, it is a major FAIL. We need to replace life-long learner with life-long contributor. Just posting “pancakes for breakfast” is not contributing. Posting pictures you took on vacation without any context is not contributing. Creating a new photo, making a video about a specific subject is contributing. But, some people feel they were last in the line of creativity and feel helpless to create something on an innovative manner.
But, something has appeared in the past six months that has moved the non-contributors to innovators. This is why pinterest has taken off. Young and old educators are posting bulletin board and classroom ideas. Bits of information collected in a visual format. Those non-social media people are now seeing the value. How did they start? It started with their passions and interest, hence pinterest.
Contribution is like eating potato chips. Once you post once, you can’t stop. Pinterest has taken off faster than Facebook and Twitter.
I started teaching a class with college students that are non-techie in their approach to education. They immediately were hooked with the possibilities to use their passions and all the educational resources. This is the “gateway” tech to getting those hesitant collaborators to get on board using technology and contributing. It is relativity simple and easy. Who ever said pictures are a thousand words was the granddaddy of pinterest.
Join pinterest and see what is out there; You might start with picture of your classroom or simple manipulative. Then you will organize your boards and receive an email that someone wants to follow you. Soon another email that someone has “repined” your classroom decor. Then you’re hooked.
The other battle cry of the life-long learner is “I don’t have time for this.” Imagine if we would say “I don’t have time to learn.” Learn to contribute, that’s what the new style of educators do.
Follow me on pinterest – I’m beatechie – http://pinterest.com/beatechie/
Here are some mobile apps to help you get started: