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Lifelong learning challenges and solutions Part 3

Lifelong learning challenges and solutions Part 3Teaching with new prerequisites and collaborative learningsveflag

In part 2 in this article-series PLE or web-library method and self-studies with technical support were described. In this part we dig into the changes within traditional education according to the teaching by telling method as well as the renaissance for collaborative learning. This helps to improve the prerequisites for lifelong learning.


Teaching with new prerequisites

Traditional pedagogy according to teaching by telling method can be refined and improved with technical applications. Especially several structural obstacles like the field of listening and view in the class room can be removed. Despite where in class room the student is located a computer with qualitative software can give all students the same prerequisites. The solution is that the teacher’s computer-screen is sent to all the students’ computer-screens in real time. Instead of being disturbed by movements and the distance to the centre of the class room where the teacher is, the education is here taking part on the same terms. In addition all students have the same possibility to get the teacher’s attention. Since the teacher sees everybody in same way on her own computer-screen. Waving hands and other methods to win teacher’s attention is no longer needed. Furthermore there are better prospects for individualisation of teaching in real time.

Research shows that in a class room only for 20% of the students the lesson has the right speed, for 40% the lesson goes too fast and for 40% it goes too slow. With the computer’s playback- and group-teach-functions the teacher can help groups or individual students that are lagging behind, while the others continue without the extra help. Naturally the teacher can help the students forward that are a head, without rushing the others. Besides this there are several possibilities for students to repeat what has been shown on the screen on their own. As well as the teacher has real-time-control on what every student is doing by the computer. In conclusion with the tools mentioned above the teacher can add the right resources at the right time. This results in an environment where all students can work in their own individual speed.


Renaissance for collaborative learning in shadow of lifelong learning

The pedagogical method can also be termed social constructivism where exploration, research, creativity and creation are the main pillars in the learning process individually or in a group. It could concern simulated real life situations, case studies, projects or other forms of tasks. Often collaborative learning is used in group exercises where project work, teambuilding and co-operation are practised. This gives great prospects to integrate the learning in daily working tasks. Vital for an effective learning process is the use of different social media tools. The teacher’s role is shifting to become a moderator and evaluator of the different tasks. However, an important part of the collaborative learning is that the student also evaluates and comments other students’ work. Dialogue is the main communication method for this pedagogical method.

All these four pedagogical models will get revolutionising effects on the structure for learning. Ove Jobring, Alexanderson Institute by the GothenburgUniversity and Ingemar Svensson from Upendo Enterprise, writes:

“There is a given contradiction in attempting to reconcile bottom-up and self-organised phenomena like online environments with institutional forms and top-down activities. We are of the opinion, however, that it is an urgent task to seek to assume such a challenge and we emphasize the prerequisites underpinning such a system.”

The transformation is progressing accordingly towards a learning context that is founded from the student’s need, bottom up. Through the possibility to “soft” monitoring of the learning process via administration modules the studying to a large extent can be more self-organised.

Besides eLearning module’s integrated activity- and result management there are several other methods for documentation. One is to tell the students to write learning journals with their own reflections about the course’s content. As well as write a journal about the work in different forms of practical project-based tasks. Most learning-platforms have a journal-application or one can use a blog-tool for this purpose. On the question how open such a system should be, the answer depends on the purpose and content of the course. In some cases the journal can be written for individual reasons, in other cases the teacher can comment and make adjustments. The third option is that fellow-students can read and comment as a part of the learning and a fourth alternative is that the journal is published openly on the web often in the form of a blog.

This collaborative form of pedagogy that briefly has been described above is in focus in the fourth part of this article series.

Written by LarsGoran Bostrom©

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