Quote: "The three dimensions of learning- knowing, making and playing." pg 99
We know how kids learn but yet our school system does not foster these three dimensions. To facilitate authentic learning experiences teachers need to create lessons where students can learn, make and play.
Question: How do we teach students the difference between chaos and structured play?
Connection: As a science teacher, I do not want to encourage students to "play" with the science equipment. I want students to explore and inquire about the world while using science equipment to take measurements. Science is an excellent content area to facilitate the three dimensions of learning. Students are able to make and create in science. The hands on activities facilitate play with structure. Creating lessons where students are the experts and teach each other will reach the knowing aspect of learning.
Aha: Why science? Often students ask why do we have to take science and the answer is simple. Science facilitates all the dimensions of learning to ensure that students have an authentic learning experience. Through science, students are encouraged to inquire and explore the world. Science incorporate hands on activities that mimic play. Engineering facilitates the making dimension of learning. I am excited that the Next Generation Science Standards incorporate these 3 dimensions of learning and encourages and fosters authentic learning experiences.
Quote: "Digital networked environments do not provide only an extension of real-world interaction; they also provide an enhanced environment for sharing information and engaging in meaningful social interaction." Pg. 101
This quote emphasizes the reason why technology needs to be integrated in curriculum. As of now, technology has been a replacement for traditional style materials. But using it as a replacement does a disservice. Technology has the ability to create a new and enhanced environment.
Question: How encourage use of technology to create a new and enhanced learning environment for students?
Connection/Aha: It is not uncommon to hear general fear for new generations. Parents worry that technology is a hindrance and not a benefit. But I find that it’s those who are fearful of technology that allows it to become a hindrance. Schools often filter the district provided Internet access, fearing that students will misuse the resource. But having a limiting factor reduces the infinite learning potential of the resource. Students could be out engaging in self-directed learning, communicating with experts and causing the conversations to continue outside of the classroom. But as of now, that experience is limited due to district-approved sites that are now deemed outdated or are limited in range. If students are taught responsible use of the internet, which a skill necessary for surviving the 21st century, then district filters would not be a requirement and the technological resource can be utilized to its true unbounded potential. Because of this realization, I have become a major advocate for the teaching of responsible use over the blanket filter. In practice, I have experienced that the filters only limit teaching strategies and hinder creative use. District web-filters are a true disservice to education. Students need to be empowered with the ability to decide from right and wrong and practice safe and appropriate use in an environment that will scaffold the process. If students are blindly restricted until the day of graduation, students will face a difficult challenge when the Internet is no longer restricted.
Quote: "Imagine an environment that is constantly changing. Imagine an environment where the participants are building, creating and participating in a massive network of dozens of databases, hundreds of wiki's and websites, and thousands of message forums, literally creating a large-scale knowledge economy. Imagine an environment where participates are constantly measuring and evaluating their own performances, even if that requires them to build new tools to do it. Imagine an environment where user interface dashboards are individually and personally constructed by users to help them make sense of the world and their own performance in it. Imagine an environment where evaluation is based on after-action reviews not to determine rewards but to continually enhance performance. Imagine an environment where learning happens on a continuous basis because the participants are internally motivated to find, share, and filter new information on a near-constant basis. " Pg. 106-107
This quote asks us to imagine an environment, but that environment is already thriving online. 21st century citizens are required to navigate a new and uncharted world. However, the resources are built for the citizens to create and to participate.
Question: How to build skills needed for the 21st century in a traditional classroom?
Connection: In EDSS 530, we are looking at tools to move learning to the next level. Technology can be used as a simple replacement of old tools. But that would not utilize digital technology true potential. EDSS 530 has tried to facilitate the limitless possibilities that technology can have for education. Through the blogs, communities and PLN, we have created an environment where the citizens are participating, filtering and creating new information. This is the potential we need to envision for use within our own classes.
Aha: As teachers entering into professional education, we are asked to join the students in this new world and environment. Teachers must be willing to adapt and be part of this 21st century. Teachers who are unwilling to embrace this 21st century world are doing students a disservice and need to evaluate their commitment to students and how to effectively prepare them to survive and thrive in the 21st century.