I was lucky enough to attend and speak at the Cognition ‘Connected Thinking’ Symposium last term, which was a brilliant event. I was particularly impressed by the thoughts of Brian Annan, and the mater-of -fact, down-to-earth manner in which he presented.
One of the ideas Brian shared with the audience was that of ‘learning maps’ which I thought was a simple but effective reflective and analytical tool for students to use. I also thought it would provide great feedback to me on anything I needed to alter within the classroom. Basically, the idea is that the student draws themselves surrounded by the people/things they learn from, as well as the influences they have as well.
Here are a couple of examples:
These maps took a fair bit of critical thinking and resulted in a good discussion. The following are the main ideas from this:
- About 2/3 of the students were happy with the way their learning occurred.
- They were generally happy with the influence they had online and the learning relationships with their family and myself.
- Some wanted to have more of a reciprocal learning relationship with their friends. They felt the learning went one way.
- About a third wanted to have more influence on others’ learning in general.
The next step for us is to make the most of online connective tools, to help them to have more of an influence in general. I also want to unpack the idea of interdependence with the students, to help them see the informal learning relationship they already have with their peers, as well as beginning to think about how we can enhance this.