Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Learning Paths Planned and Executed

Picture Credit
Learning paths like colorful ribbons blow in the winds around me.  I like to have an array of bright paths at my fingertips so I am able to match spirit, energy and intent with the path's journey as I plan, implement, revise and reflect.

The rainbow of paths that circle me right now include the following:
  • ELA MCAS prep/implementation: This is path is reaching it's final implementation and reflection has started.  
  • Fractions: The initial stages of this path has been set. The next step is a team meeting to discuss, build and create.
  • The New Evaluation System: I am not the leader of this path, but I am part of it. I'm ready for the next meeting--research complete, materials prepped.
  • Endangered Species Research/Presentation: I'm just about to plan this learning path for this year.  I'll begin by rereading and collecting all the past posts, materials and efforts, then reflection.
  • Field Studies: Lots of leg work needed here i.e. busses, permission forms, agenda. . .
  • Ed-Tech Pilot: The collaborative draft is ready, just waiting for the collaborative meetings, presentation, response, further steps.
  • Grade-Level Program Review/Revision: This plan has started on a Google doc and through hallway conversations. Again a meeting is planned to bring us to the next steps.
  • Summer Study 2013: I've been culling wonderful articles, videos and ideas from the Interent to inspire and inform my planned summer learning design study.
  • Workshops: I've started post drafts  for each sumer workshop: Math Workshop, Digital Stories, and Students' Khan-Like Videos.  When time permits, I'll add details to those posts so that by the time the workshops arrive, I'll be ready.
Learning paths like colorful ribbons in the wind dance about me. I like having many paths to choose from as it makes the learning more diverse, engaging and interesting rather than narrow and single focused. Another advantage to multiple paths is that if one path ends or an error is made, you don't feel like it's the end of the road as there other inviting paths ready for your thoughts and work.  Further, when you're engaged in multiple paths, they serve to inform each other, intersect and add greater texture, depth and spark to each other.

Multiple learning paths is a 21st century way of learning, and the key to success lies in how one organizes, tends and nurtures these paths for success. 

Do you engage in multiple learning paths at once?  If so, how do you organize, energize and support those paths?  What are the advantages to multiple paths, and what are the disadvantages?  As I think about learning in the 21st century, I think this is an important conversation.