A GPS for Learning

Student Drivers Wanted


We all want our students to take the drivers seat of their own learning. And, many of us have tried, only to hear, “Can you just tell me what to do?”. Or when we ask what THEY want to do, you are met with, “I don’t know”. Yet, many of us have unknowingly trapped ourselves as the indentured driver of our students learning.

Driving Without a Map

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 5.03.37 PM.png

Imagine that learning is a car and you are behind the steering wheel and your students are in the passenger seats. Wanting to empower your students, you ask them to take the wheel. Instead of seeing the joy of driving their own learning, you see students are either paralyzed with indecision or driving around the highway aimlessly, not knowing where to go or where they are. You see, you never gave them a map, you kept it in your pocket, hidden from them. They remain dependent on you to tell them turn by turn directions. Not only does this set them up for failure, it reinforces the belief that the teacher must always drive the learning in the minds of both teachers and students. How do we change this pattern? We need a GPS for learning…a type of Learning Position System that made the map visible for all to see.

The Learning Canvas: A GPS for Learning

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 5.11.21 PM.png

The Learning Canvas is visible and adaptable way to guide and track learning, a GPS for our learning journey. It brings transparency to everyone on the dynamic journey of learning, from start to finish. Just as a map is meant to be always out and referenced to guide us, the Learning Canvas serves as a heads up display, always bringing us back to focus on what we need to be doing now and how it connects to the bigger picture of learning. Just like when you are driving and encounter a detour or a serendipitous pit stop, you want to adapt to where your students are, even if it was not part of the plan. The Learning Canvas allows you to easily reroute as you see fit.

Learning in Flow

The Learning Canvas provides a way for us to track learning in real time. It asks a few basic questions about the progress of learning, yet reveals so much.

Learning Canvas.png

Designing the Learning Canvas

You get to design it the way you want. There are 4 simple parts in designing and using the Learning Canvas. The simplicity allows you to adapt it to how you teach and how your students learn.

1. Set the Context

2. Visualize the Flow of Learning

3. Create Learning Cards

4. See the Flow of Learning

5. Evolve

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 2.12.48 PM.png