How do students learn best?
I believe students learn best when they are active and engaged in the learning process. I once read something about Aristotle believing that we learn best by doing. This is so true. Learning is all about engaging, practicing, conversing and being allowed to make mistakes. Today's generation of students use digital tools on a daily basis. These tools are very much an active part of their everyday life. They are going to continue to use them (even when not allowed to), so why not incorporate them into the curriculum. I believe rich learning takes place when students are allowed to work in groups in order to research, discuss, digest and apply the knowledge in which they are exploring. As an adult learner, my experience in graduate courses was much different from my previous college experiences. I thrived on the "new formed small group learning communities". I was very attentive in small groups and soaked in the information my peers shared. Our classrooms today are equipped with computers and technology which allows learners to explore information much broader than the textbook. Technology now provides an opportunity for students to continuously be engaged in the learning process. They no longer have to be limited to encyclopedias and lectures. They can explore and review many scholarly references through the internet. They no longer have to have drill and practice of terms and facts through cards. They can be engaged in an online game that provides suggestions and immediate feedback. I believe learners learn best when they have ownership of the direction they will take in the learning process. They also need to feel secure and free to make mistakes and ask questions. I believe the teachers roles in the learning process have changed dramatically over the years. Teachers are now a facilitator, encourager and resource as she/he manages from the outer perimeter of small groups. Students today are digitally savvy and require the stimulation technology provides. A classroom must stimulate, provide problem solving opportunities, support personal growth, allow for expression and mistakes and provide a setting of social engagement.