Dadamac learners: social, online, self-directed, habitual and lifelong (via @Pamela_McLean)

Dadamac ( works in Education and Development in Africa, connecting people in the UK (and elsewhere) with their grass-roots social networks in Africa and our online community. Here Pamela McLean (@Pamela_McLean) outlines the practical characteristics of her own learning, and asks, Are you a Dadamac learner? (I’m pretty sure I am)

“Dadamac Learners” is an emergent group – made up of people who:

  • learn in a self-directed kind on way
  • are learning about things relevant to Dadamac
Why I started to use the term Dadamac Learner

I have coined the term Dadamac Learner  to describe the kind of learning that I do through my Dadamac activities. In the past I have variously described myself as a Life Long Learner, a Self Directed Learner, an On-line Learner, a Social Learner and so on. The problem with such descriptions is that people already have their own understanding of what those terms mean – and we don’t always mean the same thing. This leads to confusion. My solution, for 2011 onwards, is to describe myself as a Dadamac Learner – and exactly what a Dadamac Learner is will gradually become clear. 

Some more characteristics of a Dadamac Learner 

A Dadamac Learner

  • sees continual learning as a natural part of life (i.e. a fulfilling life is not “intellectually stuck in a rut” it is an ongoing learning experience – a life-long “learning-journey”)
  • values the educational opportunities of online networks for sharing ideas, discussing things, and generally “thinking-aloud”
  • is driven by personal interests and a need-to-know – not by some externally devised curriculum or accreditation system
  • is interested in sharing what is being learned with others, so that we are learning from each other
  • is ready to share questions and ignorance as well as answers and knowledge
  • shares useful resources with other Dadamac Learners
  • accepts that “doing set courses and gaining certificates” may be a part of a learning journey – but it is not the actual leaning journey
  • uses the internet as a key part of their personal “learning journey” (this can include using resources that are seen as “online learning”- but the networking aspect is more important)
I hope that as 2011 goes by I will see more people “joining me” and describing themselves as Dadamac Learners.



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