One of the questions that I constantly ask myself is, “Where does the learning come from and where does it go?” What I mean by this is that learning experiences have to start from something: a piece of content, a new idea, or from some spark of curiosity within a child or an adult. The point is that it has to come from somewhere. The learning has to go somewhere too. Whether we store it in our brains or record it in a project or assessment, we have to capture that learning in a way that holds it together and allows us to see the demonstration of that learning.
I like to think about this as the input and output of learning or the Learning I/O.
Another person who has been contemplating a version of this idea within DPS is Gayla Power. She has been thinking about the inputs and outputs of learning, and has worked to create a system to allow both to happen in the same space. In creating that space, she has made it everyone’s right and responsibility to take a look at the inputs: course materials, the ideas, and the structures for learning. She has equally made the outputs a focus, creating a space where our learning goes once it has been learned so that we can demonstrate that it happened.
She has been working on the SchoolNet system since its inception. When I saw it through her eyes, I knew that there was so much there. The questions started coming immediately. When a teacher wants to look for course materials, where does she go? When a student wants to find out how their single grade fits into the continuum of their learning, where do they go? These questions are not easy, but they are important. And it is only through asking them together that we will create a system that does more than just display grades and unit plans.
I love the vision of a single place: for the input and the output, for the conversation and the ideas, for the assessment and the demonstration.
We have both the power and the responsibility to make that space a reality. To make the learning space real without sacrificing the adaptive nature of the technology. We have a responsibility to teachers to give them the tools with which to make their decisions more easily and more effectively.
Where is your learning come from and where does it go? Gayla is one of the people with whom I would like to figure out this question. I hope that you join us in answering it too.