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BASIC ELEMENTS OF ACTIVE LEARNING

The role of the Global Digital Citizen plays a big part in employing active learning elements a classroom. For one thing, since active learning is highly collaborative there is a focus on mutual respect, nurturing relationships, and positive communication. Additionally, because technology is there as a tool, acceptable usage guidelines are respected and adhered to. Classrooms of the digital age are also culturally colourful.

What Is Active Learning

Active learning is a process whereby students engage in activities, such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving that promote analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of class content. Cooperative learning, problem-based learning, and the use of case methods and simulations are some approaches that promote active learning. This section provides links to bibliographies, research summaries, articles, and other resources about active learning.

Students Own Their Learning

In modern classrooms, we shift the responsibility for learning to the student. A teacher can’t and shouldn’t do everything for their learners. At some point they have to trust they can let go of the wheel without their students crashing into a wall. That’s what the shift is all about—trustrespect, and belief in our children.

It’s as much giving our students permission to fail as to succeed. This means that part of shifting the responsibility for learning is teaching students to learn from mistakes. When students learn that mistakes can be positive experiences, they learn not to fear failure. It can then be seen as merely part of the journey to success.

Comfortable and Organized

As was mentioned earlier, the active learning classroom also doesn’t look or feel traditional and it sure isn’t. It features larger gathering spaces, workstations, play areas, technology corners, screens, and comfortable chairs for reading and researching. Every bit of equipment and readable material is organized neatly and placed for easy access. The walls are covered with projects, visual aids, and student work. There is a sense of structure and fairness to the use of technology. You’ve got different groups in various areas all working on separate projects.

It’s an orderly, productive, and invigorating environment to be a part of. It’s more like a recreation area or lounge than the old classroom we’re used to. Don’t let this fool you, though—it’s also where some serious learning happens!

Reading: Students do a great deal of their learning through reading, but they often receive little instruction in how to read effectively. Active learning exercises such as summary and note checks can help students process what they’ve read and help them develop the ability to focus on important information.

In the all-too-typical lecture class, the lecturer stops talking at the very end of the period. Students gather up their notes and books and run for their next class. One can almost see the knowledge evaporating from their brains. They’ve had no time to reflect, to connect what they’ve just learned with what they already know, or to use the knowledge they’ve gained in any way. Allowing students to pause for thought, to use their new knowledge to teach each other, or to answer questions on the day’s topics is one of the simplest ways to increase retention.

Article by: Busayo Tomoh

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