Creating intentional learners

From information aggregation to intentional learning

Web 2.0 provides learners with access to unprecedented amounts of information, so in many circumstances,  rehashing content in a course or training effort, even in an abbreviated form, is a wasted effort. Instead, learners need to be given the tools they need to solve relevant problems or to engage in disruptive thinking so that they can innovate around a new opportunity.

While technology can complement learners’ efforts, teachers and trainers often struggle to match their students’ pace in acquiring knowledge of tools. Additionally, teachers/trainers face the challenge of helping learners to parlay their tool skills into “intentional learning” skills (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1989).  Intentional learning implies that students are using tools to do more than collect and park information. Instead, they are using tools to build and test models and to achieve desired outcomes.  Tool use is secondary to the goal of learning.

Technology should complement a learner's model-building skills

What’s good for the goose…

Part of my goal in providing this blog is to show how tech tools can complement an intentional learning process. Given that new tools are cropping up every day, I’ll be giving many of them a trial run myself. I look forward to tapping into the collective genius of others in this process—both fellow teachers and fellow learners.


Bereiter, C. & Scardamalia, M. (1989). Intentional learning as a goal of instruction. In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), Knowing, learning, and instruction: Essays in honor of Robert Glaser (pp. 361-392). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Retrieved from


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