Pick of the Month: April 2012

Here is my pick of the resources that I shared on Twitter and in my Pick of the Day in April.  Note, for easy reference, all the resources in my daily Picks  are collated monthly on my 2012 Reading List.

1 – Social networking in online education: It is time to revisit the pedagogy – Sachin Dua, 25 April – the quote in bold for me says it all!

“Current educational practices that have a set curriculum, norm or standards based assessments and prescribed lesson agendas are often misaligned with an orientation that celebrates difference in learners and learning (Mentis, Quinn, & Ryba, 2005, as cited in Mentis, 2007). If the diversity is valued, then the pedagogy must do away from its ‘one size fits all’ approach, and accept that the twenty first century of globalisation demands a different understanding of knowledge use and that this has implications for the use of technology. Mentis (2007) states that if education is to be relevant for today’s learners, it needs to break from the constraints of conformity and allow for differentiation by focusing on individual identity development within each individual’s own context, culture and ability.”

2 – To learn, we must do – Harold Jarche, 23 April – included the image on the left in this post, which demonstrates to me we shouldn’t be focusing on the technology, nor on how we “get people to collaborate, but rather on helping them develop their . Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) skills.

3 – In a series of posts: Informal Learning RevisitedInformal learning is business, and  Controversy over informal learning, Jay Cross looks at why there has been a lot of talk about informal learning, but very little action

“Learning is active and most schooling is passive. What’s taught in school is often superficial, boring, and irrelevant. Since school learning isn’t reinforced in real life, most of what’s learned is forgotten before it can be put to use. Could you pass your college’s final exams? Grades that once seemed so important turn out to be meaningless outside of school systems.

Nonetheless, most corporate training departments are modeled on schools. They deal with learners who are enrolled. They provide top-down classes and rigid content. They take attendance, administer tests, and certify participation. They let non-training learning fall between the cracks.”

4 – Learning is not something to get – Harold Jarche , writes we still think learning is something you do to people – we train them but we don’t help them (to) learn – that is a big difference.

“In too many cases we view learning as something that is done to people. It’s almost as if we are goin’ to get some learnin’! We think we can “get” an education or “get people trained”. This is absurd.”

5 – After School: 5 Apps Your Students Are Using When You’re Not Looking – Susan Lucille Davis – shows that even in schools, students are bringing their own “learning” into the classroom – we need to encourage this both in education and the workplace – not try and ban it or prevent it.

“Students these days are discovering their own applications and tools to enhance their learning online. I’ve learned about some of these tools from my students themselves, as well as through the teenager grapevine. Not only do these applications reveal to us that students are discovering ways to use social media and web tools for more than entertainment, but they tell us something about our kids’ needs in an online environment.”

6 – How To Learn A New Skill Systematically With Collaborative Learning Playlist, MakeUseOf.com, 15 April – introduces MentorMob and the collaborative learning playlist concept ..

 “… playlists are an organizational tool that help you personalize your listening or viewing experience. It is because you choose what to keep and what to shed on a playlist. Wouldn’t learning benefit from such an arrangement? It could be a neat way to make sense of all the knowledge out there, by keeping the best learning bytes on a collaborative learning playlist. We can progress step by step through the playlist and pick up a new skill gradually.”


7 – The Napkin Academy – learn to solve any problem with a single picture – from Dan Roam, the author of “The Back of the Napkin” – a simple, clever idea!

8 – Crash Course: Entertaining YouTube “Courses” On History & Biology, MakeUseOf – it seems to me that most of the really interesting “learning stuff is happening outside of education and training.

“Let’s go over the history course first. Here’s the idea: 15,000 years of human history is going to be summarized in a collection of YouTube videos. Each week John focuses on a different topic, starting with the dawn of history as we know it – the agricultural revolution.”

9 – Changing how we learn: 10 disruptive tools for every generation, The Next Web, 1 April

“As the web rapidly transforms the way we consume knowledge, here’s a quick look at innovative tools, programs, and startups that are rapidly changing how we learn.”

10 – The history of learning tools  – edudemic – a nice little infographic