Reflecting on learning and seeing the world in exciting new ways.

Online thinking spaces

This morning, I revisited the EDtalks video by Paul Reynolds: Living and learning in the cloud. Paul, formerly of McGovern Online, was a dynamic speaker and a pioneer in internet development who sadly passed away in May 2010. His talk stimulated my thinking in several key areas.

Recently, we have been talking about professional learning with reference to the 2 Cs: content and context. Paul talks about “dancing with the 3 Cs“: connection, capability/confidence and content. The 3 Cs expands context by adding connection to the list and coupling it with capability/confidence, essentially giving them equal weighting with content. They acknowledge the affective domain, which refers to people’s reactions and emotions in relation to their learning. Connecting also supports ideas around social networks of learning, imperative to effective learning in changing times, an area which George Siemens talked about during his visit on Monday.

Paul talked about digital literacy. Now, more than ever, it is vital that we teach our students how to process and making meaning from the flood of information they can access, otherwise they are simply drowning in it. He referred to the contentious question raised by Nicholas Carr: Is Google making us stupid? Floods of skeptics would love to reply, “yes”. I’d be far more hesitant to make such a broad claim. The debate refers to the depth of thinking and processing information that goes on in a Google-world. In an age where information is readily accessible in a ‘drive-by’ or ‘takeaway’ form, Paul asks, “Where are the spaces for deep, reflective thinking?” What do online thinking spaces look like? And, if they existed, would you use them? This is where equipping our learners with the skills and strategies they need in order to become digitally literate comes in, enabling deep, critical, reflective and creative thinking to occur.

Watch Paul’s video here.

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