Unlocking the power of new technologies for self-guided education is one of the 21st century superhighways that need to be paved. Profound changes to how children access vast information is yielding new forms of peer-to-peer and individual-guided learning.
Self-Organized Learning Environment aka “SOLE” – SOLE is a term coined by Sugata Mitra. SOLEs are created when educators and/or parents encourage kids to work as a community to answer their own vibrant questions by using the internet. In other words, children no longer needs to attend schools. “SOLE” is slightly different from the things that education startups are doing, where most of the learning takes place online. But as the two ideas starts to converge, I sure we are not too far way from Sugata’s dream.
primarily problem: the lack of motivation
The problem with online learning is retaining motivation. CodeAcademy tries to solve it with gamification, same for CodeSchool. I too lack motivation when I tried online learning. I gave up on many courses after I lack behind several lessons. (i’m sure many of you do experience this, because of your busy schedule) Out of the four courses in took in Coursera (yes, you can say I was greedy) that I chose to enroll in, I only completed “Gamification” and that was because I have friends taking it with me. Taking the lessons with friends in my opinion makes the lessons much more interesting and I can even have physical discussions / meetups which in turn sorts of triggers my motivation when I see and learn how others are doing. As for CodeAcademy, I only managed to finished their HTML and CSS class. (maybe no friends were doing it with me)
a little interaction comes a long way
I think that maybe having a little interaction – like having meetups would be great to solve the problem of online learning. Just last month, Kong started a 30 Days iOS Challenge, 20 students were selected and each of them paid S$50.00. The S$50 are returned when the students completed the course. Although it is a 30 Days Challenge, but there are only 6 offline lessons, the rest are either doing tutorials that are assigned or self-guided learning.
The 6 offline lessons are kind of like “SOLE” where all of use gather to ask questions and learn from one and other. But most importantly, as I watch others progress, it also indirectly motivates me because I would not want to be lagging behind and having friends around learning together was so much fun. Plus I made new friends too. Just this wednesday, 30 Days iOS Challenge had it’s demo day (you can watch the videos here) And Kong had turn 20 students with non-programming background in amateur iOS developers. So maybe those who are looking to learn coding on your own and are have problems completing CodeAcademy, maybe finding a group of friends to do it together and setting a date for demo day would help propel your motivation.
finally, my pomchek go where?
Today is my 160 days since I started my 30 Days Challenge of learning iOS and I am very happy to share with you that I just submitted my app to app store. The name is PomChek Go Where? It is a location based app that helps you find the nearest bike shops in Singapore when you are faced with flat tire. The app is still under review and I listed the launch date to be on 20 May 2013 so I’m really looking forward. And I really thank everyone in the iOS Challenge and especially to @athanhcong, @anttyc and @yctay