Informal Learning

The following is an infographic showing why informal learning is growing. Informal learning enable learners to have the autonomy, flexibility, and relevancy on their learning. It also promotes efficiency and accessibility because learners choose what they want to learn at their own pace.

I’m currently taking a qualitative research method class and seeking to discover how do adults learn English as a second language informally.  From my preliminary data analysis, I found that informal learning is very important to support  learning English formally at school. My participants said that the English courses and teachers are very helpful, but they need to practice English informally outside of school. Some of the practice outside of school is watching YouTube videos showing English conversations and movies. They said that watching the videos and movies help them to practice listening skills and pronunciation. I’m also still learning English informally and focusing more on my writing skills. I’ve joined @write_practice, @GrammarUnder, @AdviceToWriters, and @PhD2Published on Twitter to learn about writing.

So, what about you? Any experience of informal learning that you would like to share?

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The positive side of Facebook

The video portrays a positive side of using social media tool in classroom. However, research findings showed that students in higher education are not comfortable to use social media for formal learning (Dennen & Burner, 2013). Only 10% of the students felt social media should be required and only 29% think that instructors should be encouraged to integrate social media. 

I found the video from here and the author stated that 

Facebook is based on real names and authentic identities That’s the reason why Facebook is not only the most popular but also the safest social network for young students. It requires that its registered users represent who they are in the real world. It’s the most basic safety tool of Facebook. On Facebook, the connections are real and authentic. If anyone discovers a user posing as someone else, they can report it to Facebook.

Do you use your real name on Facebook? Do you think it’s really safe? Would you use it for academic or formal learning in the classroom? Perhaps a closed Facebook group? Would you unfriend your professor at the end of the semester? 

Honestly, I would not use Facebook as one of my teaching tool in the classroom. However, I might use the tool if I know (not assume) that my students are comfortable and prefer to use it in my classroom for discussion and learning purposes. 

At the positive side, I’m currently using Facebook to gain useful information and learn something informally. For instance, I gain good information and resources on writing and statistics from the communities that I joined in Facebook. Thus, I might not be comfortable to to use it formally in academic setting, but I really enjoy learning something from Facebook at my own pace.