Lifelong Learners and Technology

Silverbacks at work


I’m learning just how amazing, useful and fun new technology is these days. When I first went back to school, I watched in awe as my younger colleagues communicated with each other effortlessly, this of course all done in cyberspace. Facebook, Tweeting, Skype, texting, they were organizing, meeting, conferring and getting things done on-line. The power of social networking is phenomenal. Just look at last year’s “Arab Spring” or the student protests in Quebec. For mature learners like us, getting on board the technology train and learning how to use these tools is crucial if we are to keep up with our own learning and the world at large. So what are your thoughts on the matter?
How are you coping with technology? Which tool(s) do you find more effective for communicating, keeping in touch or getting your point across? I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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About M. Behrend

As a kid growing up in the sixties I had an overactive imagination. As an adult I realized that sometimes the truth can be more amazing than fiction. Everybody has at least one good story to tell.

5 responses to “Lifelong Learners and Technology”

  1. Richard Schwier says :

    I have never thought of myself as “old” or even mature! 🙂 But for me, taking on something new is usually focused on something pretty specific I want to accomplish. Once I know what I want to get out of something, I’m usually a bear when it comes to learning it.

    But most of my really fun learning has happened when I didn’t have a clue why I was doing it. I’ve experimented with a lot of stuff, from uStream to Skitch to Voicethread to Google + and of course, Twitter. Some take hold, and some don’t, but I’m almost always surprised to find uses once I get into them. And these are the uses that make me grow.

    So, I guess I approach new technologies from both directions. But one thing I’ve never thought is that I have to learn them for my work. It seems much more like play than work to me.

  2. @JRROCKWALL says :

    Although I am the right age to be called a “digital native” (a term I loath) most of my learning about technology has come from curiosity. For me there are two over lapping components that Chris Jones from open university identified in a recent report. Living tech (like texting) and learning tech ( like ms office). Many of the techs I have learned initially stemmed from a class but are much more satisfying once I learn to use them as a living text, like movie making!

    In terms of communication I think those who are more experienced than myself, like yourself, have an edge as you were able to develop communication skills and habits before the distracting technologies. Even a basic phone call can be lost by the younger members of our society.

    • mbehrend says :

      Thanks for your insights JR. Sometimes experience can be nothing more than living a little longer and maybe seeing a few more things.

  3. Jana Scott Lindsay (@janaslindsay) says :

    Mark… technology has had such amazing impact on not only my teaching but more importantly my learning. I feel so empowered to explore my creative side, connect with educators all over the world and share! This learning community is such an amazing wealth of resources and energy. It is such a game changer and will continue to be as new technologies are created. The power is just waiting there to be harnessed!

    Thanks for sharing.

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