Sunday 20 May 2012

The Purpose of Education is learning how to unlock your true potential

Purpos/ed #500 Words - Take 2

Last year I contributed to the first Purpos/ed Summit where over 50 people got together for the day to discuss, debate and to share their thoughts and views on the purpose of education. I met some wonderful people, that I continue to learn with through Twitter. Although I didn't present on the day, my contribution was added to the Purpos/ed Slideshare collection.  
The purpose of education is to provide the skills to open many different doors to new opportunities for learning; it is individual and personal; that we need to continually provide signposts to share ways of both formal and informal learning; and finally that learning is lifelong - there is always something new to learn. 

Education is a magical key that can empower individuals to unlock their true potential and to share their learning with others. Having read the #500 words blog posts to date and many other blog posts written by educators, there are many examples that show us that where we provide children, teenagers and adults with opportunities to learn in ways that suit them as individuals, they not only develop confidence in their own learning, they develop a passion for learning. 

Social media and mobile technology have opened a whole new world to individuals across the globe who are now able to communicate and collaborate in ways that have never before been possible. Creating, curating and sharing using a variety of digital media within the mini computer we call our phone has opened up many creative ways to learn. They have also opened up new ways to socialise, to work and to play. For many it has made learning fun and who ever said learning can't be fun? And yet... so many educated people have yet to see the benefits or even tried to use social technology as a means of learning themselves or to facilitate learning
Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.

John Cotton Dana
This is a video created by a student for a university assignment that looks at the progression of student communication and classroom settings. It serves to remind us that despite the leaps technology has made, the way we use it in the classroom is being restricted by the spaces we ask our students to learn in.

But this only a part of it. We need to support, encourage and develop new ways to enable critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication to provide us with the digital skills and literacies we need to participate in today's society. 

The purpose of education is to help us to learn how to progress

The purpose of education is to make the world a better place for everybody to live in. 

If technology can help us do this then we need to learn how to use if effectively. 

The purpose of education is unlocking the potential for everyone to be a part of this. We all have something to contribute.   

Sue Beckingham
#purposedu #500words


  1. Julia Skinner ( @theheadsoffice)22 May 2012 at 08:42

    Really enjoyed this post Sue & could see the theme from the Irish conference on Learning Spaces. I agree that it has to have a universality to it that sometimes we forget in our little bubbles. Great post!

  2. Thank you Julie! There is so much we can all learn from each other and this of course is nothing new. What is new however is this growing movement of people of all ages that are sharing their learning openly online for all to see - not just what they are learning but the steps they have taken to get there. It is these honest accounts that have inspired me to do the same.