Learning in the Happy Place
Before joining SAP, I spent several years working for an educational publisher. I had the good fortune to collaborate with the best and the brightest early childhood education researchers, teachers, teacher trainers and psychologists. I witnessed such passion among these individuals and a level of dedication to children and their learning that humbled me.
My understanding of how we learn grew exponentially. I spent many hours in early childhood classrooms speaking with educators, and observing and working with children. My field work was enhanced by time spent afterwards discussing what I had seen with people conducting and interpreting the latest brain research on early learning. One of the most interesting things that I learned was that children can learn many subjects in a place to which they naturally gravitate.
For example, most early childhood classrooms have centers where children go to read, play with blocks, play house, play with trucks, etc. It makes sense that children can learn how to cooperate and nurture in a home center stocked with dolls, kitchen equipment and comfy chairs or they can develop fine motor skills in the block center. But, did you know that children will benefit from a math or reading lesson in a center where they are comfortable, with a teacher using the props that are available in that center?
I call this place the happy place to learn. When children are engaged and feeling comfortable and happy in their center of choice, they are more receptive to learning new things. Isn’t it easier to absorb new things when you’re comfortable and feeling confident in your surroundings?
So what, you ask? Some people say: “Those days are gone. It’s time to grow up and forget about the touchy feely learning environment. As adults, we don’t have the luxury of gravitating to the block center or the kitchen center when we’re tasked with learning new things for our jobs.”
I’m not so sure about that. We now have a way to reduce the stress of learning in someone else’s environment, on their time schedule and with their rescribed content. We have the Cloud. Cloud learning is changing the way we consume information for our jobs.
What is Cloud learning?
Cloud learning is aptly described by this group of educators as:
Easily accessible content that allows for context-based communication and collaboration instead of a standard point-to-point communication practice that is used in traditional practices. The user is able to take this information to personalize and customize their learning experience to meet their own personal needs. The user is able to increase connections, interactions and sharing in a Cloud learning environment which allows for effective learning.
In a very real sense, the Cloud gives us the freedom to go to our happy place to learn. We no longer have to endure scheduled classroom training, which might have involved travel or more recently, virtual live classrooms, where learning happens on someone else’s schedule. Fortunately for our inner child, the Cloud is changing everything about adult learning. It’s creating options for people who want to learn new skills or fine-tune existing ones on their own time or just in time, from the comfort of their happy place.
For further discussion about the benefits of Cloud learning and a terrific infographic, go to teachthought.com.