Quote: "In the new information economy, expertise is less about having a stockpile of information or facts at one's disposal and increasingly about knowing how to find and evaluate information on a given topic." (p. 93)
I chose this quote because it explains one of the ideas that has resonated the most with me throughout this whole semester. I want my students to know how to solve any problem that they come across; not right away by regurgitating facts and theorems that I have taught them, but instead by using their critical thinking skills and resources. In whatever career they have they will have access to technology to help them solve problems. While being about to recite the first 20 digits of Pi from memory is a real crowd pleaser at a party, if they ever need that information at their job they will be able to look it up online.
Question: How do I prepare my students to use technology that hasn't even been invented yet?
Connection: This class connects to the quote above because we have been exploring different research tools all semester. Based off of the things we have done I feel confident that I could find any type of app or technology curriculum that I wante to use in my class, and be able to implement it effectively.
Epiphany: I had an epiphany about epiphanies while reading this chapter. I realized that an epiphany does not just have to be about finding an answer to a question, but can instead be making sense of how information fits together.
Quote: "Geeking out asks the question: How can I utilize the available resources, both social and technological, for deep exploration?" (p. 105)
This quote again shows the importance of teaching students how to use technological resources and not just facts and procedures. Students use technology to socialize and to do research about topics that interest them outside of school. We now need to bring that type of learning into the classroom.
Question: How do you explain this type learning through exploration with technology to parents who did not learn this way in school?
Connection: In this class we have badges that are named after the three stages. We went from setting up our PLN in the first badge to creating our own digital curriculum in the last one. Showing our progression from being visitors of the internet to residents.
hmm: The process described above takes time. It takes a lot of effort and exploration to get to the geeking out stage. So I am concerned how to guide my students through these stages in just one year.
Quote: "We look to gamers because they don't just embrace change, they demand it. Their world is in a constant state of flux, and it must be continually reinvented and reimagined through acts of collective imagination." (p. 115)
I agree with the authors that it is important for students to demand change like gamers do. We need to create a learning environment where students are constantly required to reinvent and reimagine. This quote also touches upon the importance of collaboration. The best way to learn to embrace, then demand, change is to work with others to achieve a common goal.
Question: This book discusses how students learn a great deal from playing online games so we should set up our classes like games. Students have many different learning styles. How do I differentiate this type of learning for students who don't like games?
Connection: This notion of playing to learn connects to this class through our 20% projects. We create something by doing that we enjoy that is interesting to us. Since we are interested in the topic we are more likely to research it further and therefore have more epiphanies than if the topic was something that we were assigned.
Ah-ha: The authors discuss how we must value play more than answers and outcomes in order to create a learning environment where students learn through exploration and imagination.
Quote: "Learning from others is neither new nor revolutionary; it has just been ignored by most of our educational institutions." (p. 51)
I found this quote interesting because with the implementation of common core people act like group work is this new revolutionary concept. However, it has been common practice for individuals to collaborate and learn from one for centuries. I feel like in order to maintain order and control over a group of students most schools were set up in a way where group work was not practiced. I am glad that schools are finally catching up with the rest of society and are now promoting collaboration and learning from others.
Question: The authors state that "any effort to define or direct collectives would destroy the very thing that is unique and innovative about them" (p.54). If this is the case , then how do I make my class a collective or have my students participate in collectives while still ensuring that they learn the standards? Is this even possible?
Connection: The authors discuss blogs in this chapter, which we have done in this class. They say that you can not predict what will happen with the inquiry that happens in response to a blog. However, from my experience in this class the blog post comments fit in with what we are studying. Yes, the teacher has less control of blog posts than they do of a lecture, but I don't think they are as unpredictable as the authors insinuate.
Aha: I have always believed that it is more important to teach students skills instead of facts or procedures to memorize. For example it is better for me to teach students how to develop a method for solving math problems than to teach them my method. However, this chapter made me think about what happens if the skills I am teaching student become outdated? This made me realize that it is important to teach students how to be productive members of collectives so they will always be able to learn the skills necessary to be successful in the future.
Quote: "people are not just learning from one another, they are learning with one another. University study groups provide a classic example." (p. 67)
The authors have mentioned study groups as examples of collectives a number of times. I like this quote because it reminder me of studying with my peers while getting my math degree. A lot of the time none of us would know exactly how to do the problem, but we would work together to solve it. It was interesting and enlightening to see how other people approached the same problem. I would say that we learned both from and with each other a great deal.
Question: Why are study groups like this only formed in college? How do it get my freshman to form a collective?
Connection: This quote also makes me think of how we work together as a cohort; also more specifically how we work in our assigned houses. We ask each other questions and offer our advice as we are all learning how to create our PLN. I would definitely say that I am learning with all of peers in this class.
Hmn: When the author was describing how group work is graded he says that most teachers assign individual grades based on how much each student participated. I usually assign a whole group grade based on how well they completed the assignment and how well they used their group work skills. The authors then connected pointed out that social media is a group project. It made me think if there is a better way for me to use group work in my class because my students are definitely more interested in Instagram than my class.
Quote: "learning is transformed from a discrete, limit process- ask a question, find an answer- to a continuous one. Every answer serves as a starting point, not an ed point." (p. 81)
I think too often math classes focus excessively on 'solve this problem to get an answer'. I would like to focus more on 'you know the answer, so how can you now use that information'. When a student solves an equation for x, after they hopefully check their answer, the problem is done and they forget about it. I want to have a curriculum that is free of the drill and kill problems and focuses more on building upon content and skills previously learned to develop new ideas and questions.
Question: How can teachers incorporate things that student are passionate about into their assignments?
Connection: This chapter mentions that students are told that learning about things that they are passionate about is not formal learning; which implies that is it not valuable learning. In this class we had the opportunity to learn more about a passion of ours through our 20% projects. My project was not school related, but I used the skills I learned in this class about blogging and online research to help me learn about my passion.
Epiphany: In this chapter the authors mention that passing an assessment should not be about how well a student performs on every aspect of it but rather how well have the contributed to their group. This would make my class more like the video games that the authors describe and therefore increase student engagement.
Quote: "The forums are not intended to substitute for visits to the doctor... The forums did help Tom make sense of his visits to the doctor, however, and they provided information that wasn't available from the medical professionals." (p. 29)
Tom's story really resonated with me. I can image that having that type of diagnosis can be very scary, partly because you don't know what to expect. The most powerful things that you can hear when scared are "me too" or "I can help". The internet allowed him to connect with people who could bring him comfort and information in an overwhelming time. I also like how the forums did not claim that their contributors knew more than doctors, but instead were acting as extra support in addition to doctors visits. This is great way to utilize the ability to connect with people in this era.
Question: How do teachers motivate students to participate in online communities related to their content area, if they are not initially interested in the content?
Connection: The online communities described in the quote above reminded me of this class's google+ community. We learn and get information from our peers, the people who are going through the same situation that we are. However, communicating with our peers is not substitute for going to class and learning from the professors. The discussions in the google+ community act as extra or supplemental support to what we learn in class.
Epiphany: I had an epiphany after reading "They started to see the difference between learning and being taught". I want my students to learn, not just listen to me teach them. This quote really solidified my belief that students must learn math by doing math. Learning math is a combination of different experiences, explorations, and errors.
Quote: "A second difference is that the teaching based approach focuses on teaching us about the world, while the new culture of learning focuses on learning through engagement within the world." (p.38)
Even though in my class my students do a lot of exploring and I try to get them to make their own meaning of the mathematics, I feel like for the most I end up teaching them about math instead of them learning about math through engagement within the world. I feel like my students see me as the person in the room with all of the experience (they know I went to college and got my math degree) and therefore all of the knowledge. I would like them to instead see me as a guide or facilitator to their learning within the real world.
Question: What steps can I take to help my students see me as a facilitator to their learning within the real world instead of the person in the room who has all the answers?
Connection: In this chapter the author discusses how it is important for students to create their own culture of learning. I feel that in this class we have done this; especially when we created our own google+ communities based on our content areas. This allowed us to share content specific resources and learn from each other in a way that makes sense to us.
Aha: This new culture of learning promotes lifelong learners. The author states that in the new culture of learning we "embrace what we don't know, come up with better questions about it, and continue asking those questions" (p. 38). I want to create this new culture of learning because I want my students to contrite to explore mathematics after I give out the final exam.
Quote: "simply unleashing students on the Internet doesn't solve the problem any more than lecturing and testing them more does" (p. 48)
I chose this quote because this is a topic that I has crossed my mind numerous times this semester. Yes, I want my students to use the internet more to explore math and gain knowledge from other sources besides myself and the textbook. However, I am still struggling with how to bring structure to their research so that it still fulfills the purpose of them learning the content they are expected to know. I worry about my 9th graders' maturity level when I think of giving them the freedom to participate in learning communities online, or using technology at all. I don't believe that students really learn from taking tests, but I also think that students need a structure that I have yet to discover in order to benefit from this new culture of learning.
Question: Do structures like rubrics guide students online learning enough or do they need more and/or different structures and supports to get the most out of using technology?
Connection: In this chapter this author talks about embracing change and how today's world changes rapidly. I think that this class prepares us for learning and teaching in a rapidly changing world. We are taught not only about cool new apps and resources, but how to find these resources and what to do with them once we do.
Hmn: I liked how the author compared past technological advances like the TV to today's advances like the internet. I never put a lot of thought into how slowly the world previously changed compared to our constantly changing world today. It gives me a new perspective on why our schooling system needs to change rapidly from teaching children to memorizing how things are now, to helping them learn how to discover new information on their own.
I think it is very import to tell my story and to learn other people's stories. Hearing someone else stories allows you to understand who they are and where they came from. I think I will use Instagram and Storify to share my story with my students at the beginning of the year and ask them to do the same. Getting to know my students is extremely important to me because it helps me to individualize my teaching strategies. This connects to the readings we have done in class because student are already sharing their stories on social media, so why not bring that type of engaging activity into the classroom? I want to let my student tell their math story through pictures that they take throughout the year. At the end of the year students will be able to create a Storify and reflect upon how far their mathematical skills have come in a year and all the different ways that they have experienced math in the real world.