Relevant, just-in-time learning

October 19, 2010 at 11:06 am | Posted in Conferences, Education | 1 Comment
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The key theme for me, that came through the ulearn conference was about relevance. We need to ensure that what we are teaching has meaning; has a point for our students.

For many years (many) educators have taught things ‘just-in-case’ it is in a test or examination. However these things that are taught often have little meaning on their own.

Lane Clark, in her keynote, said two very important things:

Are we teaching for their future, or our past?

Teachers often bring in relevance at the end of a topic, when it’s finished.

We need to make the learning relevant from the start!

Lane pointed out that as adults we go into a project/research knowing the relevance – why we want to research it; what is the point. But for some reason, teachers often hold off with the relevance of a topic to the very end.

Why do we do this? Is it for control? I don’t know the answer, but I know that I’ve been guilty of doing it!

Relevant learning could include real-life or authentic learning. Immersing students in a real-life situation where questions can be generated and problems solved. This is not simply placing learning within a context, but actually placing the students in real-life learning situations.

I’ll leave you with this:
Is the teaching and learning that occurs in your class relevant to your students? Is the teaching and learning relevant to today and the future?

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  1. These are very thought provoking comments surrounding just-in-time learning. I agree that teaching and learning has to be relevant to the class as a whole. I also think that we as educators need to know what is relevant to have in our lessons in the classroom so that they can be taken beyond it for the student. I think that’s what makes teaching so challenging because it’s not easy keeping up with what is relevant from day to day.


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