Thursday, January 15, 2015

Learning: How Much Time Do You Need?

I was looking at my learning/teaching list this morning with only 45 minutes for study. As I looked over the list, I realized that the remaining tasks all require about four hours or more to really dig into and do good work. The 45-minute or less tasks have been completed.

That started me wondering about the time chunks we need for good learning. For BIG learning, it's almost more problematic to start with only 45 minutes rather than to wait for a nice chunk of energized time. Since starting and doing just a bit means you'll just have to redo that later to reach synthesis and good work.

With limited time, seemingly infinite information streams, and lots of questions, how do we make time for the important learning that moves us forward. Also, how do we give students the important chunks of time they need for worthy, meaningful, and deep learning?

Noticing this need for more four-hour chunks of study time, I'll begin to re-look at my daily and weekly routine. Ideally, for starters, I'd love to have four days on task and one day for study each week. That would lead to good growth and application, but for now I'll have to make time for that research and application after hours or during weekends as I'm enthusiastic about reaching the learning goals outline on the learning list.

With regard to students, I'll look for ways to extend their learning time for upcoming science investigations and explorations as well as writing.

What's the best chunk of time for you to achieve meaningful reading, research, and application? How do you make that time each week on top of your other personal and professional responsibilities? Can you somehow shift your schedule so those small pieces of time are combined to give you a workable, larger chunk?

Bo Adams considers the time factor in a recent Connected Principals post as well. I want to consider his thoughts more as I seek ways to make way for this valuable work and study. Your ideas are welcome too.