Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Three Ideas to Foster Self-Directedness through Learning Playlists

Good teachers don't teach or preach. Good teachers guide learners into becoming more independent in their learning process. Though we've heard it a thousand times, we still find it hard to put into practice what we call autonomous learning. Sometimes it is just easier to tell our learners what to do or to do it for them rather than guide them through self-discovery, a bit of chaos and autonomy. We are generally too busy, too tired and on a tight schedule, so excuses abound for taking shortcuts, but shortcuts don't make the citizens we are so much in need, the problem solvers who creatively find their way out when challenged. We need to be diligent in trying to find ways in which our learners have choice, a voice and many possibilities.

Mentormob is an effective starting point towards learners' choice and independence. Students can be guided through creating their learning playlists, giving them time to think about the many pathways they can take and the different perspectives in relation to a certain topic. Of course, there are many digital tools that do the trick, but I just loved the clean layout of Mentormob, as well as its collaborative-enhanced platform.

So, here are three ideas for you to use Mentormob to its best use and most powerful use for learning.
  1. Students find their favorite resources on a certain topic and create their learning lists to share with the classroom;
  2. If they are practicing a certain Grammar topic, they can find examples to create their playlists;
  3. Encourage students to create learning playlists related to The best videos of ..., The most exciting places to..., The top 10 sites to..., What is..., 10 things you should know about..., 

By letting our students create, share and learn about others' playlists, we are on the right pathway for digital citizenship, self-directedness, and learning autonomy.

But, before they start, what would be your first learning playlist?


  1. This is a great tool, thanks for sharing this Carla. BTW, do you know any micro-blog tool that I could use to embed into my blog in order to have asynchronous conversations with my students?
    I am into creating a project on PLN for students.

  2. Hi, Julio. Glad you liked it! I really think Mentormob has great potential in the classroom.

    As for a microblogging tool that could be great for your class interaction is http://hootcourse.com . Have you ever heard of it? The great thing about it is that your students can sign in with their twitter or Facebook accounts to be part of the conversation. Let me know if it helped you.

    Another fantastic tool for a PLN project with your students is certainly Edmodo. Give it a try. Fantastic educational social networking platform.

  3. Wow! Carla, I am so grateful for your leads. Thank you. They are super!!
    I am a big fan of your blog. You are part of my PLN. Cheers.

  4. Though we've heard it a thousand times, we still find it hard to put into practice what we call autonomous learning.


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