Wednesday, May 9, 2012

For the love of informal learning

Sometimes, I sit back and reflect on just how much informal learning I acquire in a day. The amount is truly astounding. There's the information picked up from family, friends, and neighbors throughout the day. Then, there is all the great information on all my social networks, Google Reader, LinkedIn Groups, etc. I'm in the process of selling my home, renting an apartment, and purchasing land on which to build. Let me tell you, there is a LOT of informal learning going on in that process. Then, there's the learning that comes from observation, from watching the world work around us.

Education professionals spend most of their time talking about formal learning and a little bit about non-formal learning. Informal learning tends to get the short end of the attention stick. Yet, people will almost always describe informal learning as the type of learning that impacts them the most. For my bit, it is definitely the largest percentage of my overall learning.

If we really care about lifelong learning and learning communities, we cannot ignore informal learning. What do other educators and learners think about informal learning? What do educators need to know about informal learning? How is informal learning to be studied?

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