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 However, this chapter made me think about what happens if the skills I am teaching student become outdated?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.