Sean Robinson on Connections-Based Learning
We Changed the Question.
It’s not about “How will we Learn?”, but, “Who will Engage with Us in Learning?” Connections-Based Learning is a teaching approach that leverages technology and the world we live in today with global connections, collaboration and cultivation.
How Can I Teach to Learn?
Sean Robinson is a Canadian educator that is sharing with us today the teaching approach: Connections-Based Learning. He has over twenty years of teaching experience and made an important discovery.
He discovered that the relationships that the students made with their peers, community, and experts actually made the difference in student engagement and learning, not the subject or project. He used technology to extend his use of project based learning to explore the idea that learning starts by making connections beyond the class room walls.
Connect, Collaborate, Cultivate
Sean explained to us how Connections-Based Learning works. He likes to look at it with three lens. The first lens is to make a Connection between the students and the local and global community. This refers to who. The next lens is to Collaborate. After the connection is made, can we determine what the needs are and create with a purpose? This is the how. The last lens is to Cultivate. We have made our connections and collaborated, now we cultivate our ideas and work to seek positive change and make progress in our world. This is the why.
Sean shared an example. His ninth grade science class did a project with a NYU student who created a low cost water filter. Her goal is to get the filter to her home country of Kenya. The class used video conferencing to communicate and the students became enthusiastic. They started a social media campaign and created posters and YouTube videos to support this effort. Another interesting project was to learn about water on Mars. The class had a google hangout session with a planetary scientist and learned about the latest theories. The students had a great learning experience and made lasting relationships.
Learning in a Connected World
Connections-Based Learning is a powerful approach to teaching. It uses technology to enhance learning in the classroom and most importantly facilitate the desire of our youth to actively learn about present and relevant issues in our world. The result is a better me, better you, and better us!
Helpful Links and Resources from this Interview: