Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Videos,digital reflection and learning

I've posted before about digital reflection and it's value to the learning.

My thanks again to Steve Wheeler from University of Plymouth for a recent post on Learning by Making which affirms the value of asking learners to go through a process of producing something tangible related to their learning interests.  In Steve's example, his students were given a whole day to create a 5 minute video on a subject related directly to their course of study. 

He makes a number of interesting points:

  1. The process of producing the video required the students to come up with a creative concept, produce a storyboard and script, allocate roles, find props, scout out shooting locations, record and edit.
  2. Learning in this way generated spin-offs that have the potential to transfer into other areas of practice like problem solving, making judgements and trade-offs, co-operating with others, delivering to a deadline and working with finite resources.
  3. That theoretical ideas and concepts, normally abstracted from day-to-day practice when taught in traditional ways, can become concrete and situated in the real-life context of the learners.
  4. That the skills demonstrated through this process are those that are essential for 21C working.   

What was equally interesting was the sceptism of many of his colleagues who argued that the time could have been better spent studying text books, writing essays or undertaking practical exercises.

As ever, the debate about learning practice rumbles on and, perhaps, the sceptics have a point.  When organisations are facing a range of very challenging economic and regulatory conditions alongside pressures being exerted by customers, suppliers and politics, whether from inside or outside the organisation, the urge to stick with traditional methods is extremely powerful.

However, in 21C working practice we are seeing a shift away from hierarchies and towards networks, collaboration and the democratisation of power.  All of these have big implications for working and learning. 

Digital technologies  - audio podcats, video, blogs and wikis - provide the means by which learners can make their own learning and then amplify this by sharing it with others through the social media.

My current interest is in the production of user generated content.  Here are some links that I've found from my fellow members of the Social Learning Centre of organisations that are using user generated video content to share knowledge:

 I think we will see more examples of this type of content because it is engaging, democratic and a valuable source of deep learning.

Image via Photobucket          

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