The first ISTE standard for students is about being an EMPOWERED LEARNER. It is a good feeling for a kid to be able to pick out what they want to learn. Perhaps, it is one of the most important habits students can form.
I remember taking trips to the public library with my mom. It seemed like every week we would go and check out books. I had my own library card and felt very grown when I could use it. I felt like I had access to all the world’s knowledge.
I would usually start in the same area that my mom would drop me off in the children’s book section. I would always wander away in search of more interesting books. As I journeyed and browse about the stacks and stacks of books, I felt like I was shopping. I could browse and look at most of what I wanted, and love finding the history section. The books, way beyond what I could read, often had pictures or diagrams of pictures with just enough captioning for an eight-year to grasp something of worth.
I know what I was doing was not really organized, but I felt like an empowered learner. Maybe it just my examining of what I remember, but I feel like I was able to take control of what I was learning during these trips to the library.
I wonder how that experience would have been different in today’s modern world where information is much more accessible; and much lighter than a bag full of books. Is the experience of linking from one Wikipedia page to the next meaningful learning? Has the digital online google machine world devalued the meaningful independent learning that I experienced when I was young? Hmmmmmm. I wonder.