[Technology 1334] Re: What are your learning strategies?

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Marian Thacher mthacher at otan.us
Fri Oct 5 12:36:08 EDT 2007

Hey, Wendy, I really like that idea! You're right, teaching is a great way
of learning, and consolidating knowledge. Would it work to describe tech
buddy as someone who is also interested in technology? If they are ahead
of you, you can learn a lot from the, and if you know a bit more than
them, helping them will also help you to investigate new things and learn

Great suggestion, thanks.

The Technology and Literacy Discussion List <technology at nifl.gov> on
Friday, October 05, 2007 at 8:50 AM -0800 wrote:

>Hi Marian and all,

>I quibble about finding a tech buddy who is necessrily ahead of you on

>the curve. I'm regarded as one of the most tech-savvy people where I

>work, so finding somebody ahead of me would be tough. However, I find I

>learn a tremendous amount by working with others to improve their

>skills. Often they ask me questions that either I don't know the answer

>to or about things I haven't used for a long time and need to refresh.

>They also often either suggest or force me to use new teaching strategies

>for the tech I do have. So I think having a buddy who is equally

>determined to focus on and use tech is a lot more important than where

>they are on the learning curve.


>Wendy Quinones



>On 10/3/07, Marian Thacher <[ mailto:mthacher at otan.us ]mthacher at otan.us>




>One interesting question raised by the online professional development

>plan is - how do we learn new things? We created a list of learning

>strategies based on the experience of the expert advisors and

>interviewing a variety of teachers. On the form you can choose a strategy

>from the list or add your own. The list includes:


>- Self-study online: This is where all the resources the David and others

>collected are listed, related to each competency. More and more I think

>we go online when we want new information, or to answer a question, so we

>started there.


>- Read a book or journal article (Yes, we still read words printed on

>paper, right?!)


>- Attend a conference


>- Subscribe to an electronic discussion list (Well, if you're reading

>this email you already employ this strategy!)


>- Find a tech buddy: A tech buddy is a friend or relative who is ahead of

>you on the technology trail, the person you go to when you have a

>technology question. If you don't have one, it's worth looking around for



>- Get a technology mentor: A mentor relationship would be a bit more

>formal than with a tech buddy. You might decide to focus on a particular

>topic with your mentor, and meet regularly a certain number of times. It

>might be set up through a program or department rather than by an

>individual on their own.


>- Join or start a study circle: Since NCSALL started promoting study

>circles as an effective way for teachers to learn, and began to develop

>and disseminate materials for study circles, this has become a popular

>approach to professional development. (See [

>http://www.ncsall.net/?id=25#teach ]http://www.ncsall.net/?id=25#teach)


>- Use your state literacy resource center: States have adult basic skills

>resource centers that offer a variety of professional development


>- Take a course


>- Take an online course


>- Create or join a learning community: the description focuses on

>web-based communities, but this could also be face-to-face


>- Make integrating technology a teacher research project for yourself or

>your students


>- Other, add your own


>Does this list cover it? Any comments on particular strategies? What are

>you favorite learning strategies? How have your strategies changed over

>the last five years?




>Marian Thacher, OTAN

>P.O. Box 269003

>Sacramento, CA 95826-9003

>(916) 228-2597

>[ http://www.otan.us/ ] www.otan.us



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