We are three Finnish educators presenting a paper on social media and stories of learning at ITK (a Finnish conference) in April 2010. We have a bilingual Finnish - English blog where we would welcome your comments and stories about learning in the digital age. Has learning changed, how? Please comment!

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Yes, because the world is much smaller, and information is all over. The best problem for America, and American is Education in the school. So the best way to deal with it is open communication with different types of people, so the cultural gap can be broken. I am not an expert on the subject, but if you research you will find some great ideas on how to fix the school, so that is can meet 2010 standers. Please join my site as we try to meet this problem face forward.
Hi and I will say no - learning hasn't changed but the methods of delivery and the numbers of choices have. I facilitate and international discussion on the future of eudcation (www.futureofeducationproject.net) and what we found after our first year of research was that there is a continuum that may need to be addressed soon.

On one axis student driven choice in the topic of study / or adult decisions on the topics of study (as is mostly true now)
On the other axis the same choice - student or adult drive PROCESS of education - It is our suspicion that new systems will move across these choices with age and/or develop a range and students will find the one that suits them - some students need/like being directed where others rebel - no one answer works. (which is why we are the Future(s) of education- smile)

When content is ubiquitous then anyone can learn anything - if they only know how to learn. That means they need to know: a) that the outcome is worth the pain and uncertainty and b) that risk and failure are part of the process.

If you would like to continue this in a more personal venue, my email is alana@futureofeducationproject.net

Great question! I would invite your paper/presentation to receive international discussion after you present by having it up on our site if you are interested.
I have checked out your website, and related links. You people are the future thinkers of America/the world. I hope people are reading your sites, because a great change is about to happen. We are young African entrepreneurs of the world, and would like you to join our Facebook fan club (it is on the left hand side of our site). (and what you see is a marketing website that we are using to connect people to our website, the real website is being constructed as we speak) So join and stay tune for the launching...again thanks!
Thank you Alana. Your site is very interesting and I'll be happy to write about our paper after the event. We are trying to make it a participatory event rather than a traditional paper delivery.

As I mostly teach adults, one of the biggest challenges is unlearning . Adults are often not open to new ways of learning. The majority would like to sit and be spoon fed by the teacher. Perhaps we could do away with the word teacher in all languages? Substitute it with something like a learning guide or learning coach.

We indeed still have a rather rigid and fixed way to deliver education. In Finland the good PISA results have in my opinion become a burden. Our school system has many advantages, but also disadvantages that have been neatly swept under the PISA rug. I would applaud if students would be rewarded for innovativeness and entrepreneurial skills instead of purely academic and memorizing skills.

My 12-year-old daughter once said to me :" Mom I am talented in all the wrong ways." When I asked her what she meant by this rather strange comment, she replied: " I am good at a lot of things, but they are not the skills you get good marks for at school."
Mervi - I look forward to your write up and am sorry I will miss your participatory event - seems perfect.

Sartre commented that we have to unlearn what people spent the first part of our lives telling us - so that much has not changed (laughter). I saw your deputy minister of education speak abou the PIZA results and your system in Bahrain last year. What I thought most amazing were the stats on how many get turned away from teaching because it is such a desirable job.

I also appreciate Jeffrey's post below because it is an example of how little we need teaching once we understand learning. I am sure your daughter is a good learner.

Like you, I surf the net for information related to projects that I am working on. I would have never figured out how to build my own computer, reconfigure the computer to run a Linux operating system, or how to expertly maintain the Mac Book I’m using now.

I have not needed a repair man for anything in my home or even a mechanic for my car. If there is a problem, I’m almost guaranteed that someone else has had the same problem and has shared the solution on the web. I look up everything and I’m very successful at finding detailed information about rebuilding a car engine, repairing a bicycle, learning how to play my guitar better, cooking healthy etc. All of this information used to be very difficult to find, and when found it went for a pretty decent price, now it’s mostly free. I feel comfortable saying I have grown ten fold intellectually since 1998, which is when I got my first computer.

I don’t think learning itself has changed, but the way by which we go about learning, and the availability of the information has revolutionized education comprehensively.

(Duplicate of my post on Tarina digiajan unelmista)
Learning has always been the same.
It's teaching that's changing, but not enough, and not quickly enough!
I totally agree. It is a slow process.
Thanks Ioana we are currently discussing virtual worlds as learning environments so I really appreciate the link.
Hi, Ioana,
I followed your link on M.J. It sounds great, but do you know any available applications created by M.Jacobson which we can use. Looks like it is a time consuming and a laborous process of creating 3D learning
Learning has not only changed but a complete revolution has occured from what the learning environment was in the past few decades.One of the main reasons is impact of technology..the use of computers in learning has made education reachable through distance mode (online learning) which has increased the scope of learning.It is really good that the learning tools are increasing day-by-day.
Over here in Germany there is one issue I come accross again and again. It's that the majority of teachers are not media literate enough themselves to use new media and especially social media in their classrooms. Curriculums already list media skills among core competencies to be achieved but that's theory only. In schools all over the country reality is different. There are smartboard equipped classrooms at only few school. The internet is used for search occasionally. Word processing is a must when students pracitice writing CVs and letters of application. Most teachers do not use spreadsheets in maths lessons. There are learning platforms for schools, some offered for free by ministry for education. Some schools set up Moodle servers themselves. The majority of German teachers is over the age of 50 and neither motivated enough nor willing to learn new skills. Some use the internet to find stuff for preparing lessons and most have to use computers to enter grades into the schools system. So, for the coming years, I'd say, the outlook is rather bleak.

Even though learning has changed to some degree for German students. Most students have access to the internet at home. There they use the internet, mostly Wikipedia, to do research. Some use their social networks too. Wikipedia is the resource number one and I'm glad there is this online encyclopedia. In the days before Wikipedia the majority of my students didn't have any reference works at their homes and the next library was out of reach.


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