Group Three Wiki Notes: Informal Learning

70591583_f319cb6b93_t.jpg Informal learning, and the role of the mentor in choice making.
Technologies that facilitate collaboration and communication are opening up the learning environment beyond the traditional classroom walls. In a world where learning experiences take place outside the classroom as often as within it -- or possibly even more often -- informal learning is a key means of constructing knowledge. Paired with mentoring, informal learning is a powerful tool for education.

Please consider any five of the following questions as you explore the theme of informal learning and the role of the mentor in choice making.

1. What tools support informal learning and connecting with mentors?

A mentor has skills that distinguish them from teachers. Traditionally, "teaching is a push technology"... A mentor is a "pull technology"... drawing necessary expertise from outside the academy.

Or is mentorship a new role for the teacher?

Mentor´s role: mechanism for peripheral participation in a discipline. Cognitive apprenticeship?

2. Who can serve as mentors? How can they be matched with learners?

Learning mentors offer services, a distributed rating system can establish value... Presumably most valued mentors will be compensated accordingly.

Do mentors need to be alive? (Is a dead person a resource?) Is the interface between the dead and the living the role of the teacher?

3. Which subjects or disciplines are best suited to informal learning and mentoring? Which are least suited?

Discussion Notes...

4. What kinds of choices are mentors especially helpful in making?

Discussion Notes...

5. What are the unique implications for the K-12 level? the postsecondary level? for lifelong or independent learners?

Discussion Notes...

6. What are the policy implications?

Appropriate uses of technology have a unique ability to scale mentorship.Intelligent personalization.

Capturing the interactions, treating them as valuable datasets for anal

7. What are some promising examples? (please list URLs if possible)

Discussion Notes...

8. What are some of the roadblocks?

Discussion Notes...

Action Steps

List the top three to five action steps that could be taken right now towards implementing this idea. Which people or organization(s) might be able to take each action?

1. A redefinition of the role of the mentor. Providing guidance, but also modeling behavior and practice.
2. A commitment to drawing expertise from outside the academy, from the broader community of practice.
3. Stressing the importance of the context, making the process visible. Don´t ignore the story of the process. (It can scale via technologies like weblogging and other narratives.)
4. Much more aggressive about capturing and analyzing our own process. Take advantage of the data that is available to us in tracking our interactions... Including those between learners.
5. New role of assessment, peer assessment becomes more important...
6. More flexible definition of cohorts. Enable multiple webs of cohorts.