24 June 2013

Abundant Learning: 4 Newish Ideas in Education with Will Richardson

Why are we here at ISTE? Is it to be a better teacher or a better learner? If its not the latter, it's probably for the wrong reason. We all are likely living at the most change-filled moment in education and we must be willing to re-think our educational methods through a different lens or we will be preparing students for a world that no longer exists. 

Margaret Wheatley says "We can't be creative if we aren't willing to be confused. Change always begins with confusion." What am I confused about? I think I'm confused about student motivation. I'm disturbed by a distinct lack of motivation in students. I need to work hard at engaging students and figuring out what I can do to move them to a more intense level of learning. How we get students to embrace the act of learning. More importantly, how do we engage students in designing their own learning AND how do we work on the systems in place to ALLOW that to even happen? This latter question is hard for K-12 and a bit easier for the more autonomous nature of higher education. 

The problem with education is that we are the product of the current system but that system is not relevant to today's students. Students understand the education game. What do I do to be able to "check the box?" 

How do students learn to play (actual) games? They have PLNs and resources that they find/construct on their own! Traditional learning teaches students facts "just in case" but today's learning teaches students how to find information "just in time" and be able to connect that information with other information.  

Think about today's world, who needs a reporter? Reporters are now news aggregators. EVERYONE is a reporter. YouTube is the channel. Even the media markets are beginning to use YouTube. The world is changing. We are now able to print leather and suspect that in the next two years we will be able to print food. We have no idea what's coming. Learning is leaving the institution and is moving into the hands of the learners. Students CAN learn anything, anytime, anywhere - if they are disposed to doing so and have the skills and literacies to do so. 

I think I need to read Mr Richardson's book, "Why School?"

We don't necessarily need to be better. We need to be DIFFERENT. Example, the USS United States (fastest ship to cross the Atlantic in its day) vs the DeHavilland Comet (jet aircraft cut Atlantic crossing to about 10 hours). The ship was better than other ships. But the airplane was different, not just better. 

What is self organized learning? What is networked learning? 

We need to be able to let our kids meet and learn with strangers on the Internet. Think about that. They need to be put into situations that allow (encourage/require) them to connect with people who are not bound by geographical limitations. It's the world we live in. That is what a global market looks like. What if your doctor wasn't/isn't an unlearner/relearner? That's what we need to instill in our students. Make a safe place for students to risk and FAIL. 

The epitome of the honors student is one who is terrified of failure. Students should be encouraged and allowed to fail. 

Check into dual lingo. This site teaches a language and translates the web at the same time. 

Think about the meta-idea of twitter and how that applies to students. It's not a place, an institution, a repository of knowledge. It is a place to make connections with others who have similar interests. This is the analogy of education. Students are learners who need to connect with others to achieve a common goal. This could be worded better, but I think you get the idea. Maybe instead it's a way to connect to team members to solve a problem. To connect to people who are DIFFERENT than they are. Bottom line, it's a medium for connection. 

What is design thinking? Check out designthinkingforeducators.com Discovery. Interpretation. Ideation. Experimentation. Evolution. It's a process that students of through. It's a bit like a pared-down version of the scientific method! The key is that the questions don't have answers. Key component. 

What is the Maker Movement? Good grief I freaking love this guy. We are moving back to the industrial arts classroom and a bit of the cottage manufacturing industry. Students make something as they learn the knowledge. It's a huge shift to students creating artifacts. The skills students learn are the basics of what every student should know.  

I need a 3-D printer. That's my next thing. They are <$2k. I've got to get another Arduino! I may need a Pi as well. 

Guiding question: How do I integrate this into my pre-service science education classes? Small things. Small steps. I can't change it all at once. 

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