17 July 2014
17 July 2014,

Independent learning may emerge as the big winner from the introduction of the Common Core. It is empowering for a budding independent learner to have clarity about the year ahead and the expectations of their teachers. Educators have a responsibility to provide that clarity and the Common Core helps.

Most educators know to start with the teaching and learning model – and then seek the technology to support their chosen learning framework. So the first step is to ask what the learner needs in order to find their learning wings.

Clear context and expectations

A summary description of the year’s work in a given subject, supported by descriptions of the ways in which the learner will be expected to demonstrate their understanding. This is a mighty tool for someone eager to learn, and for those who just want to get through. The Common Core will help through consistency and clarity.

Access to resources and support

By linking directly from your learning expectations to the resources and support learners need you create an empowering package – particularly if you can provide it on all devices, online and offline, and with rich and engaging content. Again, the Common Core helps, this time by not getting in the way.

In short, the learner needs:

  1. Context: what does a year’s study in the subject cover?
  2. Clarity of expectations: how will learners demonstrate they understand the material?
  3. Resources: a range to suit differing learning styles and environments. Rich and engaging material that provides for both accelerated and remedial learning.
  4. Support: peer and professional networks as well as the ability to self assess. Provide a daily classroom routine or blended models to suit their needs. Flip the delivery.
  5. Access: straightforward language, visual design, summary content, easy navigation, BYOD, device resident.

And what do educators need?

  1. Low cost, able to be personalised and with easy content management.
  2. Quality assured match with Common Core
  3. Learner use analytics with straightforward reports
  4. Export data in standard formats for across-platform integration.

Now we have a learning framework (Context, expectations, support, access) and an understanding of the educator’s needs (cost, quality, analytics, integration) we can search for a technology solution. Keep in mind the landscape is changing, don’t lock yourself into long-term contracts or focus to heavily on static resources.

Information is everywhere

Information is no longer learning gold. It is context, clarity and guidance that now front-foots learning success. The Common Core allows educators to choose the resources and support which best suits their learners. The educators’ modern challenge is to ground the learner in the Common Core’s big-picture, provide what-is-expected clarity, and open the door to the information and support buffet.