This time it’s personal

merged world eye stampedThinking of social e-learning instantly brings a community and interaction to mind. But … learning always starts at a personal level. And how exactly does my personal learning look like?

How is it that I’m not motivated at all to learn some cheap formulas for a cryptography exam but I’m highly motivated to learn a foreign language like Chinese, which by the way is slightly harder. My english professor always said: “The fastest way to learn a language is to have a girlfriend who just speaks this language.” I think in this case the motivation is kind of raised.
Why do we have different motivations for different things? How is it that my motivation is higher if I learn self-initiated and when I am passionate about the outcome as it is when somebody tells me to learn?

A personal learning includes intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and it includes formal and informal learning. Mostly it starts with informal learning during the days you try to stand up and walk, then it is more formal learning going through school, college or university and after that it becomes informal again. For instance if you learn a foreign language just for the fun of it or to stay active or if you discover a new sport or game.

The reason for the differentiation of informal and formal learning could be the same as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, at least in most cases. So it would be fantastic to be able to transfer formal to informal learning or sometimes vice versa. Is there a chance to convert from one into the other? How could students be engaged to disregard the boundaries of formal learning and go beyond these boundaries? Could social learning be an approach to facilitate learners to simply forget about the boundaries of formal learning and just learn as it would be informal?

picture source: http://mrg.bz/s4aN2K

One Response to “This time it’s personal”

  1. […] couple of interesting blogs this morning. Steve Wheeler from Plymouth was responding to a blog from Tillman Swinke in Atlantis. Swinke is discussing personal learning and contrasting formal and informal learning […]

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