It’s the best of times and the worst of times to be a learner. University tuition has doubled in the past decade, while the options for learning online and independently keep expanding. Anya Kamenetz’s new free ebook The Edupunks’ Guide is all about the many paths that learners are taking in this new world, and here is just an excerpt.
The answer is in YOUR hands. If your educational career is not going to be limited to the stereotypical four-years-of-full-time-college + one-internship + job, (and it better not be), you can use a personal learning plan to guide your explorations. You can write yours in a notebook, with markers on construction paper, or a document on your computer. Here’s what it should contain:
1. Goal: Pick your path.
“I want steady professional employment in the field of sustainability.”
“I want to start a business that feeds my love of jewelry.”
“I want to combine teaching English with travel.” (“I want a university degree” is not a goal, because it’s not an end in itself.) Set a deadline.
2. Current Status: Interests and accomplishments, both academic and extracurricular. Include FET/University courses taken, creative pursuits, volunteer work, personality test results.
3. Learning Steps:
a. the credential or certification, if any, you want to pursue initially
b. the specific content and skills you’ll need to master
c. institutions that may become a part of your quest
d. prior learning credits, or credits-by-exam, if any, that you’d like to include
e. specific books, videos, websites that you’re planning to read, watch, or use
4. Experiential Steps: The social experiences you want to pursue as part of your learning, including internships, volunteering, travel, leadership of an organization, or experience working with a mentor.
5. Who Can Help: Parent, sibling, friend, academic adviser at a university of your choice— someone needs to read this learning plan and help hold you accountable for it.
6. Next Steps: What are you going to do in the next day, week, month, and year to make your plan a reality? It’s a good idea to review weekly, monthly, or every semester with your guide from step 5.
Download the full FREE E-book here.
Article and Image cred: GOOD
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