I enjoyed my independent learning project immensely. There were a few goals that I had in mind that I didn’t reach, but I accomplished some things that I felt I would not; so it evened out. The best part about the project is that it was completely free-lance. We were free to chose a topic, and run with it in the best way we saw fit. When you are engulfed in structured learning it is nice to have this outlet, and I even wonder if it doesn’t work better in some instances. In twenty years I will probably be able to recall things that I learned doing this project, rather than what I learned in the curriculum of my other classes.
I’ve learned many things while pursuing my independent learning project. Chiefly, I have become inspired to write about my experiences with fly fishing and the outdoors. Not just the pin up style articles found in fishing magazines, but writing that is for me. The ability to reflect on my fly fishing adventures through informal essay style writing has been the most rewarding part of the experience. Taking the hands-on application of fly fishing and then being able to write about the day on the water, has allowed me to become a better fly fisherman and to ask myself what it means to me. None of this reflection was particularly challenging but it was rewarding. Maybe I didn’t see it as a challenge because it was one of the few things that I looked forward to doing every week. Setting up my private learning network in accordance with my learning project was also useful in seeing how other people reflect on their fly fishing adventures. This project came at a time, for me, when I really wanted to pursue fly fishing deeper, lucky for me.
I will definitely implement independent learning projects in my classroom. Even though it was fun to do my independent learning project online, I foresee these types of project being even better in the classroom. Mainly for the aspect of sharing projects. It can be difficult to get a feel for other people’s learning projects by only viewing them online. The multiple digital tools explored has helped this, but for me nothing can replace the face-to-face interaction of projects such as these. As a student and future teacher who believes in heavy dosages of free will, independent learning projects will be a great thing to assign in order for students to express themselves in the highest order of their learning style.