Bringing Learning to the Real World

Inventor.PNG

What’s the similarity between these 4 pictures?

Answer: They are all great discoverers that observed and learned from their natural environment!

 “Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity by flying a kite.” [1]

“Isaac Newton was inspired to discover gravity under the apple tree.” [2]

“George de Mestral invented Velcro after a hiking trip.”[3]

“The Wright brothers built the first airplane without attending college.”[4]

 

I’m sure you’ve probably heard of them all. The images and the statements above indeed convey a strong point- the learning possibilities at the real world. Come to think of it, do you think the classroom is the only place for learning? If so, what about learning out in the real world?

Let’s take a look at this picture:

tech

Look how freely the students roam and how they discover what interests them in the real world. Guess what? This is exactly how the story of the great discoverers (Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton, George de Mestral, and the Wright brothers) begins.

The world interests whoever(you!) that wants to learn!

 

 

LEARNERS REMEMBER BETTER

WHEN THEY USE THEIR SENSES

Studies show that learners remember information more efficiently when there are more senses involved during their learning process. By bringing lessons out into the real world, learners will naturally utilize all five basic human senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste) in their process of learning.

Let’s compare these two learning settings:

real world vs classroom

Which environment would you choose to learn in?

Most will probably choose the one on the left! The real world allows learners to learn in context as they apply theory to actual scenarios, bringing relevancy to whatever they have learned in the classroom. Furthermore, by seeing, hearing, touching, and even tasting (when possible) the subject, learners are able to retain information more efficiently.[5]

The British Audio-Visual Society has also conducted a research showing that people remember[6]:

‘10% of what they read,

20% of what they hear,

30% of what they see,

40% of what they both see and hear,

70% of what they say,

and 90% of what they both say and do.’

 

 

THE REAL WORLD SPARKS

CURIOSITY & CREATIVITY

Unfortunately, the perspectives of many students are limited by the conventional education system. It has always been the read-and-memorize textbook and the exam-oriented mindset, which leaves no space for curiosity and creativity. Creativity is born out of curiosity! Through the real world, learners see how patterns and processes shape our world.

For example:

river.PNG

Imagine a young learner exploring the flora of an actual river. Now, let’s imagine the same learners looking at a picture of a river in their textbooks. Which one would inspire their curiosity to explore further?

In the real world, learners get to see in action how the river flows. They even get to observe what is beneath the river. Learners would get curious to explore the structure of the river and the landscapes around it in the real world, as opposed to just a visual of a river in a textbook!

This induces healthy curiosity, which is what we need in our education system. Learning in the real world will make learners question their natural surroundings and encourage their desire for answers towards a greater idea. The real world sparks curiosity, inspires imagination, and creates endless possibilities. [7]

 

 

LEARNING FROM THE REAL WORLD

DEVELOPS LIFELONG SKILLS

In this complex world, it is now more important than ever for a learner to develop lifelong skills that help them become global-minded citizens.[8] To cope successfully in this era of rapid globalization, learning cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal skills are extremely vital.[9]

cognitive

Learners develop independence and adaptability in different environments for learning in the real world. One of the best ways for learners to learn in different environments is by peer collaboration. When they learn together, they can discuss, reason and work with each other. Besides that, learning in the real world teaches learners to be aware of their surroundings and to practice their observational skill- of the environment, social interactions, and self-reflection. These skills are better practiced in the real world where learners could solve problems in real life.

 

 

THE REAL WORLD PROVIDES EXCITING

LEARNING EXPERIENCES THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

The reality is that education should always evolve with the modern world. The conventional system of classroom and textbook is most probably not as effective for learners now as the world has improved with many resources and devices to rely on. In this 21st century, learning would only be more productive when we take the advantage of merging the role of technology with our experiential learning experiences.[10]

tech

For instance, with mobile devices, learners can be guided to use their smartphones to record their experiences during an excursion, and they can then share their life experiences with family and friends all around the world. This would allow learners to use their devices but at the same time, encourage them to interact with the real world.

Education should not only be confined to textbooks and classrooms. True knowledge is not found in books, but in the world around us. The learning journey is not about regurgitating information from textbooks to exam papers, but to experience and to relate our understanding in the real world. Don’t forget- mastering life skills is quite important as well. It is time to make a change in your learning. Whether you are a student, or a working adult- you can still be a lifelong learner.

At BeED, we believe in a world where education is not limited by physical boundaries. Digital learning is our tool to break all barriers to learning and inspire our users to go on adventures and to learn by experience. BeED aims to impact the lives of people around the world to learn and grow. With our very own customized BeED experiential learning platform, indoor and outdoor learning can take place anytime anywhere, via mobile “Learning Experiences”. We can turn any journey into an adventure of learning. Embark on your journey with us!

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

[1] Tucker, Tom. “Bolt of Fate: Benjamin Franklin and His Fabulous Kite.” United States by PublicAffairs. 2003. Web. 15 Jan. 2019.

[2] M. Rosinsky, Natalie. “Sir Isaac Newton: Brilliant Mathematician and Scientist.”. Compass Point Books. 2008. Web. 15 Jan. 2019.

[3] S. Morrison, Heather. “Inventors of Everyday Technology. Cavenish Square Publishing. 2016. Web. 15 Jan. 2019.

[4] Wright, Orville. “How We Invented the Airplane: An Illustrated History.” Green Edition. 1988. Web. 15 Jan. 2019.

[5] Wilder, Kris, and A. Kane, Lawrence. “The Way to Black Belt: A Comprehensive Guide to Rapid, Rock-Solid Results.” YMAA Publication Center, Inc. 2007. Web. 16 Jan. 2019.

[6] “Exhibits for Special Issue.” Educational Technology. Vol. 54, No. 6. Educational Technology Publications, Inc. 2014. Web. 17 Jan. 2019.

[7] Olmsted, Sarah. “Imagine Childhood: Exploring the World Through Nature, Imagination, and Play.” Roost Books. 2012. Web. 17 Jan. 2019.

[8] Richardson, Will. “Changing the Rules of School.” Modern Learning. 3 Jan 2019. www.medium.com/modern-learning/changing-the-rules-of-school-fc4d770cf921. Web. 18 Jan. 2019.

[9] Renner, Philomena. “The Importance of Cognitive, Intrapersonal, and Interpersonal Attributes to Student Success: An Exploration of University Student’ and Staff Views.” Journal of the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association: Number 48. October 2016. Web. 18 Jan. 2019.

[10] Caroll, Kathleen. “A Guide to Great Field Trips.” First Skyhorse Publishing. 2013. Web. 18 Jan. 2019.

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