Active Learning and Teaching as a Way to Learn

Turning Learning Right Side Up
In Turning Learning Right Side Up, Ackoff & Greenberg write about active learning (listen to an audio introduction by The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania). What is active learning? Isn’t all learning active? According to Ackoff & Greenberg, teachers have become experts at learning because they teach. The authors advocate teaching as a way to learn. I recently discovered their book and have been promoting it to my colleagues and worldwide via my social networks. I believe that teaching is indeed the way to learn. The reason I stayed a teacher for so many years is because I am passionate about learning. Teaching is providing me with many learning experiences.

Teaching to Learn & Learning to Teach
I have become an expert at learning because I have been teaching most of my life, as I’m sure many of you have, too. Think back to when you were a child. What kind of games did you play and how did you engage with your friends in preschool and school days? I remember sharing information at a very early age with my friends and family. I guess my preschool days helped me learn how to teach because I seemed to be full of ideas on how to learn for tests. In fact, I started teaching when I was in grade 5. I used to design my own tests and ask my mother to test me. I would create a question and answer bank based on the textbook and my notes and ask my mom to ask me the questions and check to see if I had given the correct answer from the answer sheet. The only way I could memorize the information from my class notebook was to create the test.

Can teachers facilitate learning?
What can teachers do? Watch this video and find out. Is this you? If not, why not? If yes, what do you do to facilitate learning?

Active Learning Course
So, what is active learning? Enroll in Teaching Online: Facilitating Online Learning (TOFOL) mega course on active learning on from June 2-23, 2012 for free or the course on active learning starting July 15, 2012. The two courses are great follow ups of Dr. Curt Bonk’s current Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Instructional Ideas and Technology Tools for Online Success. Content is very important especially if it includes technology, but what do you do with the content? How do you retain and use the information? How do you become an active learner?

Live WizIQ Class on Active Learning 4 Students & Teachers

MOOC on WizIQ
Is there a MOOC on WizIQ? So far over 693 participants from around the globe have enrolled in Teaching Online: Facilitating Online Learning (TOFOL) on WizIQ and the numbers are rising. Do numbers make a MOOC? The course on WizIQ is free and open to everyone who wishes to join. While Dr. Bonk’s MOOC is about content, the course on WizIQ goes beyond information sharing and into active learning or teaching as I call it.

Independent Collaborative Learning
I have always been motivated to learn for myself and not for school or my parents. I spend hours in public libraries after school or instead of going to school. I skipped a lot of my high school classes so I could gain access to information that was not taught in school. But, I had to find innovative ways to use the information or it would be lost. So, I created scrap books, collages, and other artifacts with the tons of paper that I had accumulated. Nowadays, I don’t need to use printed information. The information is out there on the Internet and in online libraries. I just have to google terms and the information is at my fingertips. But, what can I do with the information once I tap into it? Well, I create videos via camtasia and Quicktime and upload the video recordings to Youtube, Vimeo, and Bliptv. I write articles, create courses and facilitate via Moodle, Wikispaces, PbWiki, Wikieducator, and Edmodo. I present online and face-to-face at conferences and teach classes online via WizIQ. I also create groups on Ning, Facebook, Diigo, Linkedin and so on. But I love images so I add photos everywhere I can and use Pinterest, twitter, scoopit, academic, scribed, mentormob and mighybell to spread the word. What do you do with all the information that you have at your disposal?

Teaching Online: Facilitating Online Learning
In Teaching Online: Facilitating Online Learning, participants will take content to the next step. Participants of the course will collaborate on Connecting Online (CO13) Ning, Integrating Technology Moodle , and on Integrating Technology Mahara. Participants are free to create groups in PBwikis, Wikispaces, Diigo, Facebook, Linkedin, WizIQ, Ning, Edmodo, Mightybell, Mentormob, Pinterest, Coursesites, Couresea and on other personal learning environments (PLEs). Google the free PLEs, create your learning group or groups, and invite other participants to join you. I’m eager to see how many will take the initiative and create groups. As I used to say “sharing is caring, and caring is sharing”. So join the fun and create activities to will ultimately help your students become teachers or authentic learners.

Active Learning Class on WizIQ


Dr. Nellie Deutsch is an education technology and curriculum consultant, faculty at Atlantic University in the MA transpersonal and leadership studies, teacher trainer, researcher, and writer. She organizes Moodle MOOCs and online conferences. She earned her doctorate in education and educational leadership with a specialization in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix Her dissertation research (available on ProQuest & Amazon) focused on instructor experiences with integrating technology in blended learning contexts in higher education around the world. Nellie offers free teacher training courses on teaching with technology, action research and Moodle for teacher courses to new, veteran, and future teachers who wish to teach online, face-to-face or in blended learning formats. She also provides online courses to teachers and ICT people on how to be administrators of Moodle websites. She integrates Moodle and WizIQ live virtual classes in all her courses.

Comments

  1. […] tutoring in class. Flipping classes allows teachers to promote active learning. Learn more about active learning at the upcoming MMVC12 on active learning and the hole-in-the-wall experiments by Dr. Sugata Mitra. […]

  2. Cheryl Walker Says: June 23, 2012 at 4:12 am

    I am glad I finally found the blog site. I think active learning has been widely overlooked by school districts who dictate the curriculum to be taught and how it should be taught. Education should be in the hands of educators and not business people,
    I will use the information learned from this online course to foment new ways of engaging my students
    . Thanks.

    • I totally agree that education should be at the hands of educators and not business people, but who is going to pay the educators? I believe teachers need to become independent and find business people to sponsor them so they don’t have to charge students for learning. Personally, I have had it with K-12 and higher education. I lost my faith in the public school system.

  3. Dr. Nellie Muller Deutsch is the best facilitator, friend and a teacher.
    Thank you Nellie for being here and inspiring all of us.
    Halina

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