Today’s blogpost comes from Newlands College.
This year at Newlands College, our teacher Mr Cargill introduced a new initiative to our year thirteen Media Studies course – self-directed learning! This meant that we had the agency to select, construct and manage our own courses and learning activities. We could choose our own standards and work to our individual timelines.
The best thing we found about the self-directed learning was that the course could accommodate the needs and interests of us as individuals and provide opportunities to pursue a wider range of interests than normally possible in the pre-defined Media Studies curriculum. Even those topics that were within the usual school curriculum could be explored in greater depth, and more meaningfully, in self-directed learning with many resources gathered by Mr Cargill and the myriad of resources Online.
A few of us learned the hard way, that for self-directed learning to be successful, motivation and time management were essential for completing work in a timely manner, having to take the initiative and the responsibility for what occurs. Despite this, it was a definitely easy to be motivated when we were involved with things at school that we were passionate about and that we felt would benefit us personally.
Self-directed learning is a very timely approach, due to the fact that next year our college is making bringing a device (e.g laptop or notebook) compulsory across all year levels, intending for the students to connect their devices to the school network and use the technology in an exciting, cooperative way. Thus it seems that Newlands has made E-learning and Web-based learning a major component of the teaching and learning program – both in the classroom and at home.
We’ve found self-directed learning this year in Media Studies exciting and fascinating, and we believe it is a great way of preparing us for later on – with the modern workforce requiring more “creativity, connectedness than ever before”. We are responsible for making the choices that help create our own paths, certainly in this digital day and age.