|Ms. Sarah Hunter||
Quote: "Most critically, play reveals a structure of learning that is radically different from the one that most schools or other formal learning environments provide, and which is well suited to the notions of a world in constant flux." This really highlighted the disconnect between the state of learning environments and the state of the world at large.
Question: How do we adapt learning to be "in flux?" The concept seems so simple and yet so complex simultaneously.
Connection: In my classroom, I have been surprised to find that having high school seniors share their writing via blog posts is a way of learning that is viewed as "radically different." Any new technology tools that we want to introduce (like blogging, building infographs, etc.) have to be approved by the district technically before they are allowed to be used.
Epiphany: I keep coming back to the use of the word radically in this quote. I don't view this structure of play as too radical of a shift in education. However, my "aha!" is more of a "doh!" in the sense that, the teachers are ready to embrace a new culture of learning for the most part, but the structure of the district seems to be the major factor in holding it back.
Quote: "Geeking out asks the question: How can I utilize the available resources, both social and technological, for deep exploration?" This is the big gap in my students' understanding of their resources. They have the access, but they don't have the knowledge or need to explore how they can use these resources on a deeper level.
Question: Do I have time to teach content AND teach students how they can learn using their technological resources?
Connection: In this program, we take this course specifically to learn all of the technology tools, how to use them, and how to apply them in our classroom. In my classroom as a teacher, I barely have time to get through the content I'm supposed to, let alone teach my students how to use them. How do we get them started like this course has gotten us started?
Epiphany: Hey, look! This is where our badge names come from!
Quote: "When people stop learning in a game, they lose interest and quit. When understood properly, therefore, games may in fact be one of the best models for learning and knowing in the twenty-first century. Why? Because if a game is good, you never play it the same way twice." The book ends with a huge emphasis on the link between gaming and learning. I was a bit disappointed that it never offered any actual, tangible ways to make this link a reality in the new culture of learning.
Question: This book used the gaming analogy the entire way through. To some extent, I felt a little out of the loop, since I am not a gamer. The examples did a good job of showing how individuals were learning through gaming. But what if students aren't "gamers"? Is this model still the best for learning and knowing?
Connection: Imagination is certainly a strong link to learning, and one that has been sadly left behind in much of the traditional pedagogy. In our tech classes, we've learned strategies that can help bring imagination back to learning. I like the idea of tools like Animodo, WeVideo, LucidCharts, etc. to foster this, but worry again about being blocked the opportunity to use them because of district disapproval.
Epiphany: The new culture of learning is on the brink of catching fire in the educational realm, but there are still some major hurdles keeping it from taking off. I look forward to being a part of the launch of this journey!