What is Learning?

What is Learning?

The google definition of “learning” is:

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 1.48.35 PM

However, after this weeks readings I would disagree with this definition because it is very narrow and has a definite ending point.

The readings for this week really challenged everything I thought learning was. It opened my eyes to how the definition of learning has changed and has become a much more broad, open-ended definition.George Siemens’ article “Connectivism” was what really sparked my interest in this changing definition of learning. He made many good points about how learning is different than it was 40 years ago.I would like to share a couple quotes from this article that really resonated with me:

  • “Learners as little as forty years ago would complete the required schooling and enter a career that would often last a lifetime. Information development was slow. The life of knowledge was measured in decades. Today, these foundational principles have been altered. Knowledge is growing exponentially. In many fields the life of knowledge is now measured in months and years.”
  • “Half of what is known today was not known 10 years ago. The amount of knowledge in the world has doubled in the past 10 years and is doubling every 18 months.”
  • “Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where (the understanding of where to find knowledge needed).”
  • “Our ability to learn what we need for tomorrow is more important than what we know today.”

Looking at these quotes, a key theme seems to be the idea of individuals being able to navigate, or take control of their knowledge and learning. It is no longer good enough to “know things”, you need to have the skills to “find out things”. This reminded me of some of the readings from last week that talked about the skills students will need in the future workforce. The overall theme was having skills to problem solve or find information, not just simply knowing how to do something.

Another key factor is that learning is continuous, it can’t stop. At the rate our world is evolving and the amount of knowledge we are exposed to, you can never stop learning if you want to be successful.

So finally, what would my definition of learning be?

  • learn-ing   (verb)

to continuously find, gather, and apply knowledge in various contexts.

How do you define learning?


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