As I read through the Forum Discussion postings for the first week of the class, I am struck by the diversity of opinions about life-long learning. Some (including myself) respond by saying they believe in and practise life-long learning.
Some speak honestly about their reluctance to dive back into the education process because of past education experiences where they lacked autonomy.
Jeremy makes a great point about having to overcome fear and self-doubt as a part of the process. Discussions of these same fears come up with almost every student I’ve spoken too. Not only must we try and learn new and challenging ideas, we must do it in a new environment, with new tools and approaches.
I began this program a year or so ago fearing the idea of doing a blog. I literally did not see the point other than to convey to my instructor my progress in the course. When I began the 3240 online course, most of the forum discussions were about the frustration with learning the new technologies and how my fellow students saw them as an intrusion into their classrooms rather than helpful tools.
By the end of that completely self-directed course, you could tell who had embraced the new learning and who had not… and you could tell the few who had not were not as participatory in the process as those who had fully embraced the new tools and approaches.
I believe the Heutagogical approach as defined in first posting by the forum leader Will Parker as,”In a heutagogical approach to teaching and learning, learners are highly autonomous and self-determined and emphasis is placed on development of learner capacity and capability with the goal of producing learners who are well-prepared for the complexities of today’s workplace.” defines us all in this course. It helps set us up with some tools for life-long learning by giving us a “Flipped Classroom” model, video instruction and a platform for discussion of the subjects… new tools to move our teaching forward.
Does mastering this new way of learning make us all engaged, self-directed, life-long learners? That, I believe, depends on us overcoming our initial fears and self-doubts… in my case, it is one blog post at a time.