This week’s topic, I think, is an appropriate ending to this semester. In light of all we’ve learned in relation to web 2.0 tools available for learning, it’s fitting at the end to discuss personalized and self directed learning. All of us have resources at easy access to facilitate our learning on a variety of topics. And, the instruction we can receive is not only surface level. Real, hands-on, learning can take place with the click of a button. And, all learning styles are catered to. A close friend of mine turns to YouTube when she needs to learn something fast (cooking, sewing, etc.). I know others who turn to Google quite frequently when they have trouble with a software application. This week’s tidbit articles remind me that even a new language can be learned without leaving the comfort of a home.
With all the tools available, it’s no wonder that people everywhere are exploring options for learning on their own, in their own style, at their own pace. After listening to Ken Carroll speak, I realize that we must consider whether or not we are ready for that level of independence in learning. I think it certainly depends on the individual. Ken said, “Technology alone can make us neither free nor self-directed. The key lies with the individual, not the institution.” I agree that no amount of technology can make a person want to learn on his own. Also, I believe that left completely to ourselves, we may not learn the right things. Proper direction and guidance is always necessary. But, internal motivation to learn certainly has an outlet in this information age.
As I look to the future, I am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. Because I am a home schooling mom, I am forever looking for opportunities to enrich my family’s educational pursuits. When my daughter expresses an interest in learning French, I am happy to know that there are good resources available. When I know that music instruction is important, but also realize that I am not qualified to teach it, I am thankful that I can turn to the Internet for help. There really are no limits to what can be accomplished.
The web 2.0 has certainly opened doors in ways that were not possible before. As a final tribute to what I have learned in this class, I share my YouTube video creation with you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts45BkAnqTs
It is a summary of what I’ve learned and a glimpse into the home school. Much of what I have discovered here will be applied, in the short term, to the context of my own home school. Beyond that, time will only tell. But, I go forward with more confidence in what can be accomplished.