"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Friday, 25 September 2009

Autonomous education works whatever your age!

When I set up this blog I was motivated and interested.As a computer novice,I sat for many hours working my way through all the steps.the initial bit was easy but the add ons and adding pictures etc was a real challange for me.I had many setbacks and was very frustrated on many occasions but I didn't give up.Each set back was a learning opportunity.However, I didn't always see it that way,there were times when I would sit for hours trying something out and not understanding why it wouldn't work.If there had been someone here who knew what to do, I would most definitely have asked for help and their knowledge would have made it easier for me.I would have got to the goal much quicker.The setbacks didn’t stop me.I persevered and because I really wanted to learn I kept coming back to it and giving it another go.

I think there does come a time when outside help may be needed when trying something new,but I don't think it should be the first step.Until you try something ,you will never know how far you can go.I gained so much  experience fixing the problems and confidence from working through it myself.The sense of achievement was huge.I am not too sure I would have had that if I had asked for help too soon.

At around the same time I started learning about the computer,I watched my brother in law's slideshows of holiday pictures with all the effects and music added.I loved the idea of doing them but  it looked difficult and  too technical for me.I had only just started using the computer.I was not ready; my confidence on the computer had not built up. My knowledge of computer language was not as informed as it is now, in short it was a step too far at that time.I knew I could have asked my brother in law to teach me but I didn’t really want to,I just wasn’t ready.

Over the last couple of years I have thought about doing them and then it has gone out of my mind again.In the last few weeks I have had the urge to do them again.I googled and came up with Photobucket and did one on there.Quite easy and very satisfying.Emily then mentioned that Tom did them on Windows Media player. I set out to learn.I was amazed at just how easy I found the whole process! It all slotted in to place so easily.Of course there were mistakes made and I learnt from them .Having a problem loading them via blogger meant I had to learn how to upload to You tube!
I spent my evenings so absorbed in learning that meals were late and I stayed up far too late, but I LOVED the whole process.

What had changed?

In the last few years my confidence in my ability on the computer has grown,I have more knowledge of how things work and what the language is.I have made connections and had hands on experience of making mistakes and knowing that I can work through them. I use the help facility and it no longer appears to be in a foreign language:-)

All this has meant that the time was right for me to challenge myself and importantly enjoy the process instead of being stressed and overwhelmed when it went wrong. I was in charge of the timetable ,I wasn't dancing to anyone else’s tune.I didn't once feel the need for someone to "teach" me.If a problem had been too hard for me to work out on my own I knew there were people I could talk to about it.That would have been an absolute last resort, because I really enjoyed the process of working things out.

Why would it be any different for any child who was truly interested and engaged in a topic they wanted to learn?


Anonymous said...

Very true. Learning is a natural process. Some tools help (like being able to read)--but then, the motivation to acquire the tools also comes from the desire to learn and/or do whatever it is the child is interested and engaged in!

Lynn said...

Wit and Whimsy,thanks for your comment.
I nearly didn't post this,I re read it several times and wasn't sure it conveyed what I was trying to say.I am glad you managed to get what I meant and added some clarity with your words:-))

Elizabeth said...

So true! Every time an older person asks about how the kids can learn out of school, I just ask them if they've never learnt anything since leaving school--and without fail, they all say they've learned more, and stil learn every day. I just respond:'I rest my case!'