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.