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How important is informal learning?
As learning becomes more self-directed, informal learning is gaining popularity
Learning is changing. It is moving from a primarily school-based, formal process to include more informal opportunities. Learning is just as likely to occur among a group of students at a coffee shop or at a museum as it is within a virtual group on a social network.
Informal learning, then, is often characterized by its impromptu and unofficial nature, as a new infographic demonstrates.
Today’s students must be independent workers, able to collaborate and solve problems, and informal learning supports these skills because it requires autonomy, flexibility, accessibility, and relevance.
The 2013 New Media Consortium K-12 Horizon Report identified informal learning as a challenge, noting that K-12 education systems “must address the increased blending of formal and informal learning.”
(Next page: Experts discuss informal learning)