This morning I had the pleasure of attending quite a wonderful conversation on the teaching/learning/social site WizIQ. Nellie Deutsch, a nimble Ed.D. from the University of Phoenix, now a faculty member at Atlantic University, started a series of conversations with game-changers in education some time back. This morning’s iteration of the conversation series focused on the work of an extraordinary 17-year-old Nikhil Goyal who spoke about his passion: fomenting a revolution in education. This young man has written a blog, a book, One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School, and a series of articles that are insightful, articulate and profound in so many ways. One of the things he talked about was “curating his own learning.”
I love that metaphor. It brings up an image of a beautiful old ivy-covered building with imposing architecture, wide open doors, full of endless rooms, shelves, display cases, open galleries, long dark hallways, bright atria with fountains and, better still, laboratories, unlimited storage in the attic and the basement — basically any possible architectural expression of the acquiring and sharing of the fruits of discovery.
If you think about it, whenever we’re passionate about what we want to learn or use, that’s when we all start curating our own learning, looking around for mentors, for websites with info, for YouTube videos, for articles and blogs, for groups in the real world who can teach us, who share our passions, who are a little farther down the road than we are. The process we use to discover knowledge we need, gather our information, learn our skills, is the same whether we are learning to cook, knit, weave, conduct experiments, write books, build a better garden, or become an online teacher. There’s a breathless joy when you look up and find yourself immersed in that process. It’s as if we were building our own interactive museum, filling up our galleries and display cases, getting hands on, trying things out, and then opening the doors to let others in to learn what we’ve learned. Sigh …
So here’s a link to the conversation on WizIQ: Conversation with Nikhil Goyal. I’m going to watch it again.