EDUC 932: Connected Learning
Read one of the articles from the Beyond Laptops Essential Readings list http://blogs.yis.ac.jp/beyondlaptops/essential-readings/ and express your thoughts about the article (agree, disagree, explain how this could affect you, etc.). You may need to give a very brief summary of the article so that people reading your post will understand your commentary.
Summary: Researchers are proposing a working model to adapt education to current technology. They feel that there is a learning gap between what students learn at home and what they learn at school and submit that learning consistency among all aspects of a student’s life is essential to learning and growth. Learning must appeal to a student’s interests, involve social input from peers, and be supported by an academic structure. This is accomplished through creative production, open social and informational networks, and providing shared purpose with and connection to communities outside of the peer group.
Reaction: Often students lose interest in a subject precisely because it is hoisted upon them. I’ve found that students (and myself) are repelled by subject matter that seems irrelevant or useless to their lives and creative interests. Some of the most effective projects I have implemented in class have been inquiry based where the students asked an essential question and, not only did they analyze, but found a way to communicate the matter creatively to their peers through activity. They also were required to create a piece of work (art, writing, video, schematics, etc…) that demonstrated the results of their research.
I agree with the model, but I think implementing effective networks and relevant technology is a huge skill set. It’s not just a matter of knowing how to operate programs, but knowing how to teach effective communication, study, and research skills that make use of the tools available. One of the keys to this is letting go of curriculum that forces too much specific information to be taught. Shifting to a curriculum that emphasizes transferrable, relevant concepts allows the teacher and student to partner together to choose content that is meaningful for the student while ensuring that all students are being prepared with core life skills.