Learning by Actually Doing Something

August 28, 2014

 

Those of you who have read my previous blogs know that I am a huge proponent of 70:20:10 learning across the educational continuum. We've seen this tested in the corporate world through the great work that Charles Jennings, Jay Cross and many others have done and written about. Recently, as I've toured the country with a rising high-school senior looking at different college options, we've paid close attention to the work study, internship and other experiential opportunities offered on and off the college campus. Depending on the type of program you are enrolling in, many schools offer great options for field-based or on-campus jobs or internships that help college students build skills and networks while still in school. So, should we and how can we apply 70:20:10 in K-12? Yes, now more than ever, and here's a few ways how.

  1. Make more time for project-based learning where the project involves actually building something. K-12 curricula must include long-term projects that allow students to work through problem-solving activities over a period of time. The ideation and project planning processes, working toward interim goals (aka project milestones) and the concept of final deliverables all provide real-world practice and can incorporate many of the standards required in today's public school paradigm.

  2. Collaborate with outside experts, mentors, and business partners. Just as in the workplace, we look to those with more experience to support our individual work efforts, so should project-based learning be supported by partners in the business world willing to put in the time to bring these projects to fruition.

  3. Incorporate technology to provide the performance support to build on the interdisciplinary skills required to work on and complete the project. Today, many teachers are using blended learning programs to strengthen individual learning within a classroom setting. DIfferent students working through a team project will need different levels of support. Whether it's access to Khan Academy videos or support by groups such as Digital Promise or others, there are systems in place to help support the type of activity that can ensure individual success within a team-based project.

This week's pick for cool K-12 experiential learning is Tools at Schools. They are doing some fantastic work in the schools through fantastic learning design and thoughtful collaborations. Stay tuned for more on making learning more meaningful and accessible across the continuum.

 

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