Swanson begins by defining what is meant by “user-generated learning” which she defines as “learning acquired through active curation, reflection, and collaboration to a self-selected collaborative space.” In other words, user-generated learning is a very deliberate process of carrying out three specific actions that can transform an educator into a connected one, and by default transform his or her educational practice. These three actions that bring about the kinds of learning fostered through online connections include:
- Curating: Process or action of carefully collecting relevant resources. In this case, these are resources entirely associated with our professional practice. There are online tools that aid in the process of curating the content and information on which learning is based.
- Reflecting: Process or action of making sense of this newly curated information and determining what it all means for professional practice. Reflecting is vital to assimilating our new learning. Tools such as blogging assist educators in reflection.
- Contributing: This is the final process of action of user-generated learning. It consists of giving back to the community of learners to which we are now connected. Contribution fosters connections.
Professional Learning in the Digital Age: The Educator’s Guide to User-Generated Learning, Eye on Education, is powerful-succinct guide for all educators to learn 21st century style.