Saturday, January 26, 2013

What is Andragogy?

What is Andragogy?

Ferdi Serim, author of Digital Learning: Strengthening and Assessing 21st Century Skills, defines andragogy as a theory of how humans learn.  This is an important term to add to your vocabulary.  Up until recently, pedagogy (how we teach) has been the dominant term in major discussions on education. The pivot in the 21st century is away from centering on teaching and looking closer to how we learn.

Ferdi Serim has listed six (6) tenets of andragogy – how we learn:

1.     Need to Know (Why You Do)
2.     Experience (Including Error)
3.     Readiness (Just in Time)
4.     Orientation (Problem Centered)
5.      Motivation (Internal)
6.     Self-Concept (In Charge of Your Own Learning)

Official Coach Lerning Academies is a 21st century concept of education and addresses all of these tenets.

1.  Need to know (Why You Do): 

Educators often have to address the question of why do we need to learn this or when will I ever use that because of our fragmental approach to teaching.  Official Coach Lerning Academies use compelling story lines to provide context (a problem to solve) that motivates and guide students through the learning experience.   Coach Michael Lerning is the central character, but there are several others that provide hilarious misadventures in learning.

2.  Experience (Including Error):

Official Coach Lerning Academies allow students to develop deeper understanding by learning from their mistakes without penalties.  Students are not graded in the traditional method of allowing mediocre work (a D+ for example) to pass as acceptable work for credit.  Students must demonstrate mastery through problem-solving project-based assignments.  Students earn badges of achievements when they demonstrate mastery.  The lessons learned while earning badges cannot be quantified or graded but provide the best kind of education.

3. Readiness (Just in Time):

Most students study under the premise that anything and everything covered in class might be on a test (Just in case studying).  The result is called load and dump.  In other words, they study everything that might be on a test and then forget the information after the test.  The information that they were studying had no relevance to anything outside of the test and, therefore, no longer important enough to remember.  This is not a conscious decision among students, but a result from how our brain is wired to learn and remember what is important.

Official Coach Lerning Academies provides relevance by putting problem-solving projects in the context of a compelling story line.  Students study and learn what they need to know to solve a problem and complete a task. 

4.  Orientation (Problem Centered):

Marc-AndrĂ© Lalande invented a new word – Schoolisyzation. 

“- n. the act of force fitting a notion or concept into a real-life context or vise-versa, for teaching purposes, resulting in a somewhat absurd lesson or exercise that would never be considered outside of a teaching facility.”

These are problems meant to put a concept into a context for students, but instead provoke bewilderment that anyone would ever need or want to do that in real life. 

Official Coach Lerning Academies presents problem-solving assignments in the context of a compelling story line that makes sense and motivates the student to solve.

5.  Motivation (Internal):

Self-motivation is key to learning.  The expression – you can lead a horse to water, but can’t make it drink, is well known, but not actually true.  Our school systems have been salting the oats to force students to participate for a very long time.  Official Coach Lerning Academies want to take our students for a run that will work up a thirst.  (OK, I may have stretched that analogy too far).

The point is this:  Story telling, song, dance, and games have been used to teach for thousands of years because they work.  Students are so caught up in the enjoyment of learning that the do not realize that they are being taught.  This is the heart of what makes Official Coach Lerning Academies radically different from other programs.  We have re-imagined education for the 21st century and found that current technology makes it possible to center on learning as oppose to force teaching.

6.  Self-Concept (In Charge of Your Own Learning):

This tenet is about people having the need to be responsible for their own education – make their own choices.  This includes involvement in the planning and evaluation of their instruction.  Official Coach Lerning Academies provides students with opportunities to choose among options where they want to follow in the gamified story line, but this is actually superficial to their education.  In addition to completing problem-solving project-based assignments – there is Challenge-Based Learning.

As described by the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow – Today (ACOT2) program, Challenge-Based Learning is an engaging multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that encourages students to leverage the technology they use in their daily lives to solve real-world problems through efforts in their homes, schools and communities.

Individual Official Coach Lerning Academies are not disengaged from the real world around us.  There are true-life problems in our communities and around the world that our students must be a part of the solution.  Our students are required to periodically submit a Challenge-Based Learning project.  And since Official Coach Lerning Academies are not bound by traditional school hours and days, our students have the flexibility to be fully engaged in Challenge-Based Learning.

Official Coach Lerning Academies is a unique and radical 21st century change in education.  Please show support by following us on Twitter and liking our Facebook page.

Official Coach Lerning Academies is a 21st century concept of education. Regionally accredited independent study schools that blend online gamified story lines with project-based mastery. It is still in the developmental stage.  Students are not enrolled in a particular school, but rather have membership privileges in all of the academies.  Coach Lerning is the name of a character of a gamified story line that motivates and guide students through the 21st century learning experience.

We will continue to explore the uniqueness of Official Coach Lerning Academies in future posts.  Thank you for visiting.  To Learn more About Official Coach Lerning Academies - visit our blog and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Making the Case for 21st Century Learning in 2013

Lydia Dobyns, President of New Tech Network, recently stated  in a Huff Post Education article,  that phrases like 21st century classroom or 21st century skills are empty phraseology designed to sound like we are preparing for the future when we are already living in that future.  Interestingly, the rest of her article actually makes the case for using such phraseology.
Today’s education system does not reflect the innovative gains in technology and social media made in recent years.  Our school system is still based on the late 19th century Industrial Age model of schooling used to prepare students for factory work.  It is not preparing students for the reality of our 21st century economy. Heck, we are still using the agrarian calendar to determine a school year.  Honestly, her suggestion to use phrases like “deeper learning” does not convey the irony of wanting 21st century learning in the year 2013.
It is true that tech giants like Google do not need to tout that they are 21st century companies because they are too busy being 21st century companies.  Our schools can’t make that same statement.  We need to use terms like 21st century learning to differentiate  what is happening in schools from what should be happening in schools.
Ms. Dobyns may not like phrases like 21st century learning, but she is a strong advocate for it.  She insists that school districts must change from delivering education that inhibits innovation to ones that encourages it. Accordingly, it is time to move on and develop education systems that meet students where they live and are relevant.
Official Coach Lerning Academies agree.  Students should not walk into a classroom that represents a step back from the connected world that they live in. Our concept of 21st century learning is blending online gamified story lines that motivates and guide students through problem-solving and projected-based mastery of knowledge and skills at academies with flexible hours.
Our students seek knowledge in their 24×7 connected world all the time.  The help they need is in relating their natural curiosity to skills and knowledge needed in a 21st century economy.  You see, there isn’t anything wrong in schooling students to be prepared workers for the economy – it just has to be for the century that they live in.  That is why we use the phrase 21st century learning.
We will continue to explore the uniqueness of Official Coach Lerning Academies in future posts.  Thank you for visiting.  To learn more about Official Coach Lerning Academies please visit their  Twitter and Facebook.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Official Coach Lerning Academies

Official Coach Lerning Academies is a 21st century concept of education. Making it a reality is my ultimate professional goal.

Our current education system is based on a late 19th century model of teaching meant for preparing workers for factory work in an industrialized nation.  It is not surprising that special interests have become entrenched in a system that is more than a hundred years old.  It wouldn’t be a problem except that this antiquated system is not preparing students for the 21st

Some are proposing that market-based reforms that provide school choice for parents will transform schools to meet today’s societal and economic needs.  And I’m sure that they can – if schools were part of a free market.  Schools are not in a free market.  Public schools are in a monopolistic system ensnared in obsolete traditions, laws, red tape, and strings attached to grants and government funding.  Most private schools are also trapped in the late 19th century model of schooling and are too busy struggling to surviving to be innovative.
Coach Lerning Academies intends to break out of this mold.  Its funding model will not be based on grants and government funding.  Its funding model will not even be based on tuition.  Coach Lerning Academies will be funded by free market acceptance of its 21st century model of learning.  This will include initial capitalization through crowd-funding and multiple streams of income through membership and other goods and services.
The concept behind Coach Lerning Academies is 21st century simplistic.  Students follow gamified story lines that motivates and guide them through online learning experiences that culminate in demonstrating mastery in project-based assignments in one of the academies.  Students have flexible hours because they are not bound by traditional school hours.  In fact, they are not bound to any one brick and mortar school.  Membership in a Coach Lerning Academy is universal to all Coach Lerning Academies.
We will continue to explore the uniqueness of Coach Lerning Academies in future posts.  Thank you for visiting.  Please continue to visit our blog . To learn more about Official Coach Lerning Academies follow them on Twitter and Facebook.