The Importance of Learning Communities

Thanks, again, to Twitter, a wonderful piece of media was shared with me.  In most cases, it’s a blog post or article that makes me think and reflect on education, ed tech, social media, or some other topic of interest.  This time around, a link to a TED Talk was retweeted by Joyce Valenza.

When I saw the video was about learning communities, I was drawn in.  I watched it and wanted to share a few quotes that really stood out to me.  These may seem completely senseless as individual statements, but when you watch the video, you might get a sense for why I felt they were important.

  • “You rarely go to a place that isn’t on your personal map.”
  • “I think the reason I was a terrible student in school is because I thought education was just a series of hurdles…I had to jump over to achieve adulthood.”
  • “All at once, I became a learner. And I became a learner because I found myself in a community of learners.”
  • “So I started to learn because learning was cool”
  • “A lot of the learning I did in high school wasn’t about what happened inside the classroom, it was about what happened outside of the classroom.”
  • “I promptly quit my job.  And for the first time since high school, I found myself without a learning community.  And it was miserable.  I hated it.”
  • “To me, the most interesting of communities of learners that are growing up on the internet right now are on YouTube.”

While you’re watching the video (it’s embedded below) – think about these statements and how they related to your educational philosophy.  How are these statements related to your current situation.  If you’re a teacher, are you creating the hurdles?  Are you encouraging learning outside of the classroom?  Are you a learner surrounded by other learners?  Have you learned anything by watching a YouTube video? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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