Quote: “Instead, Sam told us that the single most important thing you was to ‘Not be mean’ in your comments and to make sure that you commented on something good when you came across it, as well. The game does not just teach programming; it cultivates citizenship” (22).
Question: As technology and our use of technology are vastly changing at such rapid pastes; how do we as new and veteran educators learn to facilitate our students to have the skills to use the new culture of technology/the internet as a place where they learn from each other and improve social skills and citizenship? In other words how do we keep up with rapid changes of technology while best promoting digital citizenship?
Connection: I really value the above passage, because it shows educators how technology can better the lives of our students and better them as digital citizens. At only 9 years old, Sam realized through his participation of online communities on SCRATCH that he was learning to be a better person by leaving positive comments that value other gamers. The cite taught him the skills to be able to give constructive feedback that was beneficial to other members in the online community .As our young students grow up using technology daily to both connect and learn new skills, it is so important that these students learn to use the technology in ways that value, respect and better online communities. It is tricky to teach Digital citizenship, so the fact that Sam was doing so in such an organic and independent way is awesome!
Epiphany/Aha: My aha moment from this chapter was realizing that in today’s culture of learning, we need to see each other as resources and figure out how to learn from one another other. We no longer live in a culture where we should only value the teacher’s voice, but we should value our peers and online communities as voices to learn from. One way I can achieve this in my own practice is by incorporating student centered projects where students pick topics on their own interest to research and learn about, and have students use online forums and communities to learn more about their research. Students can publish their work online, so that they learn how to contribute to online communities in positive ways and advance other people’s learning in the process.
“[I]n the new culture of learning, the point is to embrace what we don’t know, come up with better questions about it, and continue asking those questions in order to learn more and more, both incrementally and exponentially. The goal is for each of us to take the world in and make it a part of ourselves. In doing so, it turns out we can recreate” (38).
What are some strategies we can use to get our students to embrace the unknown and question our world?
I really identify with the above passage, because it relates to some of the my experiences as a Teacher Candidates. Being new to the profession of teaching, I am learning a lot and often feel there is so much I still do not know and need to learn. This feeling can often times be overwhelming. I really like the idea of “embracing what we don’t know,” and using this to continue our investigation into the methodologies of being better teachers. From this passage, I am reminded of a letter a student from last semester wrote to me as a goodbye. He had wrote that he liked that as I taught, it seemed like I was always learning along side him and his classmates. At first, I thought it was a bit funny and embarrassing that my student seemed to pick on my novice teaching methods. But upon further reflection, I realized that it was so good for my students to be apart of my learning experience, and I think it taught them that the learning process is one in which we are constantly exploring our world in order to find more, and further, that the learning process is a lifelong endeavor.
The notion of “taking the world and making it part of ourselves” is something I want to foster in my classrooms. My cooperating teacher and I were discussing essays and end of the year prompts, and I was really excited by what she asks her students to do as a final project. She has her students share a speech with the class regarding what they learned this year. The speech does not necessarily have to apply to our English classroom or even school at all. She explained that the students come up with the most interesting speeches that show their creativity and understanding of the world around them. I love this idea, and I think it ties in with this chapter, because the speeches allows students to reveal their interpretation of their own world and how they learn and experience new things. Most importantly, it forces students to think for themselves, a skill that every subject matter should be fostering.
Quote: “Embracing change means looking forward to what will come next. It means viewing the future as a set of new possibilities, rather than something that forces us to adjust. It means making the most of living in a world of motion.”
Connection: I connect the above passage to both my experiences in my classroom and my experiences in the Credential Program. I have experienced a great deal of change these last 6 months and have learned that one’s happiness is largely determined by how much we accept and embrace these changes into our lives. From Pat Stall’s course, we speak a lot about being mindful of our daily experiences. I choose to be mindful and aware of the changes in education, my schedule, my students, my CSUSM classes, the list goes on; and decide to embrace the good and the learning that comes out of these new experiences. This makes for a very positive year for me, and I would like to teach my students about being mindful of the changes in their own lives and learning to embrace them, as they are at an age where change is inevitable.
Always embrace change and teach your students to embrace change! I loved the notion, “Stop thinking of learning as an isolated process of information absorption and start thinking of it as a cultural and social process of engaging with the constantly changing world around us” (47). We need to cultivate classroom environments that encourage our students to explore their world and learn through their exploration.
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, KY: CreateSpace?