What does learning look like? (trailer)

I have been gathering ideas for a coming post about what people think learning looks like.  I’ve asked my colleagues, students and educators worldwide.  Some took it very seriously and considered their answers carefully.  Others called an image to mind very quickly.  Some could sum it up in a word or phrase.  Others felt the 140 characters on Twitter was too limiting.  I’ve looked at lots of images to see how learning might appear in its various forms too. Much of what I read every day deals directly or indirectly with this very question.  I’ve seen wonderful examples of what learning looks like on teacher and student blogs.  Ian in Sheffield is planning to give cameras to students  for them to photograph what they think learning looks like.  If you haven’t already shared … what do YOU think learning looks like?

Learning is...


12 thoughts on “What does learning look like? (trailer)

  1. They say ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ and that’s certainly true of this one. They may be cartoon characters, but you’ve chosen wonderfully similar scenes to those I hope our students will capture in the project you mention above Ed. The imagery sells the textual information perfectly. Very impressed with ToonDo – do you use it with your pupils?


  2. Hi Ed,
    Learning is the quest for knowledge. It happens to me daily through my interactions with my students, my PLN, and my computer. I will start out my morning by opening my laptop to read my email and before I know it, I have spent 20-30 minutes learning about something new. I open TweetDeck and am directed to all sorts of wonderful links. One of my students asks a question and we are off and researching for the answer on the World Wide Web. I find that I have to set time limits for myself or I would stay on my computer 24/7. I love learning.


  3. What great food for thought. Indeed what does learning look like? I don’t know what it looks like but I know it has to be interesting or the learners will not have a go and it has to be sufficiently challenging or they will not learn. I guess in the school context it looks like a happy, busy, engaged, colourful, noisy classroom. Just like yours!


  4. You asked: What does learning look like in my classroom.
    Here ’tis’,
    You can ‘hear’ learning in my classroom because I have a ‘talk’ based program. Oral language is important! It’s a LANGUAGE EXPERIENCE classroom. You can see learning and it looks busy as children take responsibilty from the moment they enter the room for their organisation. Creativity – thinking, doing and making are visible. Groups work collaboratively and students work independently depending on the task. All learning is connected to prior learning. Students leading learning is valued, as is being a ‘risk taker’. Students are starting to confidently log into our school network and access programs. Four and five year olds laugh and move around their space confidently. The teacher is BUSY! Talking about ‘what we are learning to’ and what have we learnt are valued conversations. You can feel that it’s a secure, fun and organised place where teacher and students enjoy being together.
    I could go on – but that’s the picture except you can see the teacher trying to provide the best program and learning experiences for these very young children. Early Years teaching strategies are visible!


  5. Great cartoon yet again! Thanks for making me reflect on what it looks like in my classroom when learning is happening. it certainly doesn’t look quiet and organised!! It looks like a lot of discussion, explanation, sharing, exploring, experimenting and smiling when it finally clicks for some.

    Maybe I’ll start to be a bit more observant from now on 🙂


  6. Great post and the comments just as valuable!

    What does learning look like? Students asking questions, sharing ideas, constructing, deconstructing, reconstructing, and coconstructing understanding through language, diagrams, graphic organizers, writing (in their own words), and multimedia products. It is many small groups talking at the same time, sometimes student-led discussion or presentations, and teachers providing instruction, redirection, posing new questions or problems, or providing ongoing feedback. Learning is sharing the classroom with outside experts, other students, and community members. It is personal, peer, or group reflection on a learning experience and interpreting findings (sometimes with debate or accepting multiple ‘truths’). Learning is fun, emotional, challenging, filled with roadblocks and problems, messy, sometimes frustrating, and meaningful.


  7. Learning implies deep understanding – often absent from the school system and other education/training institutions… which in fact are meant for teaching, not necessarily for learning.

    Good graphic! Look forward to the post.


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