Community Gabfest: Learner Identity and Learning

On November 24, 2022 AlphaPlus hosted another in our series of Community Gabfests.

We started by asking people to share the things that people love about them.

Our conversation starter was: Learner identity (and blended learning)
Here is what Wayfinder Evan Hoskins said:

Each learner has a connection to the past to be considered. All teachers know … every student comes to learning with a different backstory … and you have to know how to adapt your teaching methods quickly. For example, one day we’ll be talking to a learner about how they learn while dealing with anxiety. On another day we will have to talk about what happened in their world before they dropped out of high school in grade nine. What made them not feel comfortable on the computer? We as teachers learn how to help the learner work through that emotional pain in order to gain the confidence needed to learn how to use the computer, to get their fingers moving again.

What do you think? How do you navigate this terrain and support learners as they develop their learner identities and confidence?

We had a an amazing conversation about

  • what we need to know about people so that they can thrive in literacy programs
  • how working with learners is an iterative process of experimentation and discovery as literacy facilitators work to find the learning environments that work best for each participant
  • the challenges of supporting learners and reducing barriers to learning while mapping boundaries and expectations
  • the challenges of nurturing our own mental health and staying energized so we can do the work that we love
  • how pandemic recovery is about more than economic opportunities and assessing where we are in terms of digital technology integration

It was a lot. And it was inspiring and validating.

We wrapped up by thanking each other for their contributions and generosity.