Thursday, April 5, 2012

Only Learning Halfway

Back in March I had the chance to sit in and learn with David Warlick. I had heard David speak but not present. So this was a great opportunity for me to learn from and with one of the people I admire most in the education world. I sat in on 2 of his sessions, one on data visualization and the other on social media conversations. They were both very fascinating conversations where he demonstrated some pretty powerful tools. But it wasn't the heart of his presentations that really spoke to me. It was how he started them.

He began one session by showing a video. (One that for the life of me I can not find so you will have do with my description.If you know what video I am talking about please, leave me a link.) The video was an animation of a machine making a robot (cyborg). When she comes to life she is confused yet aware of what she is, much to the displeasure of the creator. She shouldn't be saying or doing the things she is. She must be broken. He begins to tear her down saying it is for her own good. She tries to fight and convince the creator she will obey and follow. He puts her back together and the story ends. I am probably not explaining it correctly but it was a terribly dark scene that gave me lots to think about.

David made the connection back to the session but it was what he said that's the point of this post. He said he always starts out is talks and presentations by showing something he learned yesterday. Sometimes they connect, and sometimes they don't. But what really resonated with me is the public and open reflection of his learning.

What a great idea!

Right after that session I saw this great piece on why everyone should dedicate 30 minutes to learn something you are passionate about everyday. Not only does it feel good to learn something new but it makes you smarter too. The piece has some great suggestions on how to take the time and what to do with it.

These two things have really left me thinking and reflecting personally. What do I do everyday to learn? How am I sharing that learning with others? I hear educators everyday that say they want to instill the value of lifelong learning in their students and they want to be lifelong learner themselves. I think to some extent we are all learning everyday. But I think sometimes we only learn half way.

If we take in knowledge are we truly learning? I think maybe only in the simplest form possible. But if we don't share what we are learning, how can we grow? How can we help others grow?

So my challenge to you is don't learn half way. Take the 30 minutes everyday to learn something new and be like David, share that learning with the world.

photo credit: Pragmagraphr via photopin cc
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