Friday, August 24, 2012

Why learners?


The following was originally posted on my other blog, the Learning Museum. But I noticed this week that I have not given that blog any attention in almost a year. So I considered shutting it down and moving some of the posts here. I was having a hard time deciding where to start though. An exchange on Twitter today provided me with an answer. The exchange got me thinking about why I try to use the term learner instead of student when talking about the people that I teach. Consequently, this post seemed to be a good one to move since it includes the video that first introduced me to the idea of teaching learners rather than students. 

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For those of you familiar with my TEDx Talk, it will come as no surprise that the first exhibit in the Learning Museum included the following video from the Council on 21st Century Learning (C21L). If we want to know what learning looks like, we need to identify some of its key characteristics. This Venn diagram might help us in identifying these characteristics as we consider what learners do compared to what students do in the video.
Here is the first in a series of three videos available from C21L that attempt to get at the differences between students and learners.


How are students and learners alike and how are they different? Here are some of the characteristic identified by teachers in training:

  • Both students and learners produce products;
  • Students seem extrinsically motivated (e.g. Grades); and
  • Learners seem intrinsically motivated.
What would you add to this list?

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