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RESOURCE: How Technology Supports Self-Directed Learning

Self-directed learning is a type of learning in which learners are allowed to work on authentic problems and tasks of their own choice, and are still provided learning support in context to their problems.

Self-directed learning is an essential skill required in the 21st century educational world. This learning approach increases the motivation of students to learn, since they are the makers of their own knowledge, they experience a sense of independence while learning. This process keeps them engaged, since now they have to acquire knowledge on their own, and apply it along with their skills to find solutions to their problems, evolve their learning and be encouraged for life-long learning.

Self-directed learning can be facilitated through scaffolded instructions. Scaffolds are supporting elements which aid learners in developing knowledge and skills. These instructions can be imparted by; modeling desired behavior, providing explanations about concepts with illustrations, inviting learners to participate in a task in which the instructor acts more like a guide, and gradually withdrawing instructor support to pave way for learner independence.

We know that, technology supports learning and teaching of all kinds, and there in nothing today, which cannot be attained or aided by technology. Learning through self-direction can be refined and amplified with the use of technology. Technology can support lifelong, self-directed learning beyond the regular classroom…

via How Technology Supports Self-Directed Learning – EdTechReview™ ETR.

Brian S McGowan, PhD

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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