Thursday, August 7, 2014

Engagement during learning

At the end of this post you will receive a prize if you can answer the questions correctly... Do I have your attention now, are you more willing to be engaged in the post?

Engagement is explained by Newmann, F. (1992) as "students make a psychological investment in learning. They try hard to learn what school offers. They take pride not simply in earning the formal indicators of success (grades), but in understanding the material and incorporating or internalizing it in their lives". There is ritualized engagement, because I am taught to pay attention and give eye contact. Then there is authentic engagement, which means that I am tuned in without distractions and truly want to be there.  How does one create an environment that is engaging and thriving with learning?

There are a couple of factors that I think are important in creating a learning environment that supports students' engagement and interest. There needs to be clear expectations for the working process and end product or results.  Without purpose or clarity it is easy to lose students and become disengaged in the learning environment. As learners we need and are driven by feedback as shown in many articles and sites such as 7 keys to feedback and 20 ways to provide feedback.  The common theme is that specific, timely and attainable feedback leads to growth.  

How does technology support learners' engagement whether it is a child or an adult? For my learning, it opens up a world that I would not have been able to access if it weren't for the internet and the many places that it would take me.  I also would not be able to create products due to inability from a lack of knowledge or equipment.  This could be a laptop, camera, app, or any other device that allows me to do something more than I can do with a pen and pencil.