Many in the one-to-one community, myself included, often throw around the phrase “anytime, anywhere learning.” The phrase reflects the many learning opportunities available to students when they are given a ubiquitous learning device. One-to-one provides students with the opportunity to collaborate with others, research topics of interest (as well as not so interesting topics), and create anywhere at anytime. I recently read Fred Bramante and Rose Colby’s book Off the Clock: Moving Education from Time to Competency. The book REALLY pushed my thinking on what anytime, anywhere learning could look like. In fact, it helped me realize how my previous definition of “anytime, anywhere learning” only recognized a small part of the potential of that type of learning. A major theme throughout the book was that schools need to move away from equating learning with time, and instead equate learning with competency. Some students will naturally need more time to achieve competency while others will need less time than provided in our current system. Most educators don’t seem to disagree with this theme. Many would agree that the Carnegie unit is outdated, and doesn’t make much sense today. Of course, the change to a true competency based model involves changes to school and possibly state policies. A second theme throughout the book focused on how and where that competency based model was delivered. This part would likely get much more push back from many educators. The authors spent a great deal of time focusing on how learning could look drastically different. Learning could take place throughout the community, and it could be delivered by multiple individuals. The examples below are a combination of my ideas, and those of the authors.
- Online learning that includes courses with universities, and programs such as Rosetta Stone.
- Credit to students who spend time in a foreign country.
- Internships with businesses or non-profits in the community.
- Credit for students who participate in extracurricular activities in the arts and sports, and even those not directly connected to school. Experiences my include membership in a band or participation in a community sports team.
- Schools should strongly consider moving to a competency based system of learning. Although there may be challenges implementing, that type of system just makes sense.
- Schools should look for engaging learning opportunities outside of the school. This may certainly be more challenging for schools because of state regulations regarding seat time.