There’s more initiative in learners than you might think.
Sometimes this pays off in surprising ways.
It is in Claned’s DNA to provide a personal learning space for every learner. Anyone can start building learning areas, adding materials and inviting peers. Tools for creating learning areas are available for every user.
This means that an educator can lock a learning area for a course and prevent participants from adding materials. However, learners are always free to start their own collaboration areas with their peers. It provides a freedom to take creativity and collaboration into your own hands.
This, in fact, is a very straightforward way of supporting self-directed learning.
Yet many learning platforms still hold the course creation tools for educators only. We have taken an opposite approach.
“Does anyone know why all these people from country X are logging in?”
A while ago, our statistics showed surprising amounts of activity in a new country. For some unknown reason, all these people from a place we thought we had no presence in, were using our platform. Since we have strict guidelines regarding user privacy, we do not by default monitor their learning activities. While it’s nice to have users, we were eager to find out what was going on.
Eventually, we learned what had happened. A potential customer had mentioned their learners they were considering using Claned. These students were part of a group starting a rather extensive learning program. Some of them began trying the platform out by themselves.
They built learning areas, shared materials and invited others to join. Many of them got very excited and communicated on the platform actively. All this took place without a teacher. An impressive example of action from the learners.
Make an appealing platform and the contracts will follow
The second problem with personalization seems to be the conception of technology’s role. Many personalized learning solutions make use of technological solutions. But taking on a digital learning tool does not change the nature of learning. Technology helps only so far as it supports a valid pedagogical solution.
It is worrisome if trained experts put all their trust in technology. The power of digital learning is to extend the reach of skilled educators. No digital tool alone will solve pedagogical problems.
If the educational tool offers little more than a playlist of learning assignments, it leaves teachers frustrated with personalized learning as well as educational technology. No wonder, digital solutions are criticized as inadequate or implementing simple tricks for commercial reasons.
Educator – are you ready for self-directed learners?
For me, this was a powerful learning experience. Doing our core things well; ease of use, empowering learners and powerful social features, pays off. Turns out this self-directed learning thing can be good for business as well, both for learning platform and education providers.
From the learning platform provider’s perspective, we were happy to see how the learners’ were effectively driving the choice of platform. They are active, critical, networking and make the decision of their choices quickly by starting to use the platform. Those that don’t pass the test, get quickly rejected.
So, the game has changed. Learners are realizing they have a voice here and will move fast. We are ready to serve the education providers and training professionals with our platform. The learners have voted already!
P.s. After a while, we got even more users from the area in question. It turned out, that the learners who took part in the program were educators in their own organizations. And once they got back to work, they started founding new communities for learning.
P.s.P.s. If you want to know more about our learning platform and how happy we are making educators and training companies, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org