No more colouring books

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 12.05.08 PMThis simple image of my son Jasper colouring away epitomizes, for me, the personal learning environment. By allowing him to remove the paper he happily engages in the process of learning how to colour. If you were to tell him that he HAD to colour on the paper he would probably become disinterested because the paper moves around for him. It isn’t the ideal surface for HIM to learn to the process of colouring. The ideal surface for HIM is a solid, light coloured, table height…table. The objective was to learn to colour. He has achieved that. He gets an “A”. If I had told him he had to log into Blackboard, read a 40 page article, post a response in a discussion forum, and complete a multiple choice quiz I think he would literally poop, “F”. And yet, having given students clear objectives for learning we still force them to colour on the paper when they would really rather watch a video, write a summary, and join a synchronous discussion. Let’s stop telling students how to learn and focus on weather or not they are achieving the given objectives.