Preface: TeachThought is happy to welcome Bena Kallick, Ph.D., as a contributing author on TeachThought. Kallick has consistently been involved in important projects in education, including Assessment Strategies for Self-Directed Learning, Habits of Mind with Art Costa, and consulting nationally with districts and state departments of education.
Her latest project is Eduplanet21, a company that explores how social learning can be used as a platform for 21st century learning, and idea we look at often here at TeachThought as well. We’ll have more on their approach to learning online in an upcoming article.
We are all involved in some ways with social networks—ning, facebook, twitter…but are we actually doing some learning from these networks? Are we learning how to solve problems, become more innovative, interact and build new ideas? In addition, are we using the social learning to further our learning as instructors? Here are 5 tips that may be useful as you become a citizen in the world of social learning:
1. Ask clarifying questions when you are uncertain about what the entry into the discussion. Don’t assume.
2. Be certain that the others in the group are looking for feedback before providing it. Don’t assume.
3. Provide constructive feedback that is in keeping with what the other is asking. Make certain that you are coaching for better thinking not replacing the other person’s thinking.
4. Raise questions as frequently as you respond to what others are saying.
5. Respond promptly. Don’t let time lapse in the discussion. So in a virtual classroom don’t let a week go by; On a conference call do not change the subject or ignore a clarifying question.
Based on a chapter written by Bena Kallick and Marie Alcock, “Thinking Interdependently—Virtually” to be published by TCPress, September 2012.