Quote: "In a world where images, text, and meaning can be manipulated for nearly any purpose, an awareness of the play of context and the ability to reshape it become incredibly important parts of decision making." In the digital realm anyone can create what looks like real or true information, but it takes a discerning eye and critical thinking skills to really determine if it makes sense in the context that is being presented. Just look at sites like The Onion. They take real-world situations and tweak it just a bit to make the story outlandish. But if we don't have background knowledge about the context it can be very difficult to tell what's real or not. This is a huge part of the learning process.
Question: How do we utilize the three modes of learning (Knowing, Making and Playing) into the classroom in real and relevant ways?
Connection: This next week my students will be learning about global warming, from the perspective of point-counterpoint. The goal is to not only teach them about the science behind the issue, but to hopefully help them understand that all information needs to be evaluated based on its source, intentions and context.
Epiphany: Each of these three modes points back to Wagner's discussion of problem-solving as a necessary skill. We learn best by creating or being presented with a problem and having to determine what the best tools are and how to use those tools to solve it. This is true in seeking factual information, when we desire to create something, or when we are playing and need to figure out how to succeed based on the obstacles in our way.
Chapter 8: Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out
Quote: "The ability to engage with media and technology in an intense, autonomous, and interest-driven way is a unique feature of today's media environment." We are no longer simply consumers of information on the internet. There are entire social constructs available to us that we can plug in to at various levels of engagement. The deeper you go, the more it becomes a part of your life's fabric. This is a big part of how people (young people mostly) are interacting with the internet, learning from it and becoming part of it, part of the collective.
Question: How do we get students to collaborate at a level where they are sharing and creating new knowledge and learning with each other?
Connection: Thinking about my own participation in several online communities this totally makes sense. There is definitely a progression of knowledge and comfort-level as I increased my interest and time spent.
Epiphany: Ha! Now I see where the names for our badges came from. We've definitely moved from just consuming stories about education technology to creating lessons and tools for our own classroom.
Chapter 9: The New Culture of Learning for a World of Constant Change
Quote: "Games, which allow learners to play, explore, and experience, also allow them to discover what is important to them, what it is they actually want to learn - and that keeps them playing." It seems that we need to make the classroom a place where kids are engaging by choice and driving their own learning. Certainly by including a certain level of play and creation the students might push themselves to improve and grow their knowledge.
Question: How can we incorporate this play mindset to learning in schools, or is this calling for a complete overhaul of how young people learn?
Connection: Related to my 20% project, much like a game, playing music is something that takes practice and is best improved by seeking out knowledge, experimenting and discovering. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes along with the enjoyment and fun. And there's always room for growth.
Epiphany: I see the value in using games and play as a way of learning, though I would like to see more examples of how this would actually work in a school setting. Perhaps working with game developers to incorporate real-world physics, biology and natural processes in a way that they would have to be learned in order to progress in the game.