Some things just don’t need defending. For example, statements like ‘students learn best when they are actively engaged’, or, ‘students are more likely to learn when the lesson is relevant to their own lives’. Even, and still, ‘everyone learns differently, preferring different modalities’…although the particulars of this may have been taking a bit of a hit lately.
Similarly, there is a general consensus that experiential learning or ‘learning through experience’ is the best way to ensure all of the above: returning high rates of understanding, retention, and even improved application of newly acquired knowledge to novel circumstances.
Yes, experiential learning…
It is something of a universal truth; that when it comes to education, nobody likes a surprise. Not on the way to school. Not in class. Certainly not in an exam. And almost never in this new digital learning paradigm, mid-pandemic.
It was somewhat surprising, perhaps mildly amusing, the first time a teacher or colleague opted for the outer space virtual backdrop in Zoom. Nevertheless, a couple weeks on and kitchen counters and bookshelves — not virtual unicorn forests — are keeping video calls interesting. Kitchen counters and bookshelves might not be surprising, but they can be interesting: unpredictable, personal…
Interactive learning as a methodology has long been the failsafe refrain for progressive educators. When we encounter reference to 21st Century Learning, what usually follows is a set of familiar talking points on and around forms of interactivity in learning: social, cultural, creative, collaborative, and — of course — personal.
edTech, founder, education for all, STEM innovation, sustainability education