Archive for March 2012
Tonight was the last night of our student teacher seminar. We met once a week every Tuesday night for the past three months while they were student teaching. The seminars were virtual and synchronous with most students choosing to use webcams. As such, we were able to share laughs and tears . . .
. . . see each others’ homes and children . . .
. . . and even enjoy one student’s new baby boy.
A sense of community was built.
I have blogged before about the importance of beginnings in Beginning the School Year: It’s About Connections Not Content. I also believe in the importance of endings, that it should be a celebration of community and providing inspiration for the future. As such, the student teachers were asked to bring virtual treats to share during our last seminar. These treats could take the form of an inspirational quote, video, picture, thought or final wishes. What follows are some of the treats shared.
I started off the seminar by sharing Jeremy K. Macdonald’s Soiree of Slides at the Instructional Technology Strategies Conference . . . a beautiful five minutes. Read more at Becoming an Unteacher: Do the Unexpected
Student watching the video . . .
There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. …
Teachers have one of the greatest responsibilities and because of that, one of the greatest gifts.
- Abraham Lincoln
Imagine being born without arms. No arms to wrap around a friend ; no hands to hold the ones you love; no fingers to experience touch ; no way to lift or carry things. How much more difficult would life be if you were living without arms and hands? Or what about legs? Imagine if instead of no arms, you had no legs. No ability to dance, walk, run, or even stand. Now put both of those scenarios together… no arms and no legs. What would you do? How would that affect your everyday life?
The underlying point of this video is behavior and the discouraging factors dealing with our present-day behavioral situation.
A short video based on the Starfish story, with an inspirational message for all teachers to “Never give up”.
Quotes and Passages Shared
I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. – Lily Tomlin
A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations. – Patricia Neal
Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot. - Eleanor Roosevelt
What I hear I forget, what I see I remember, what I do I understand. – Chinese Proverb
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go… – Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
To teach is to touch lives forever. - Anonymous
Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another. – John Dewey
A teacher affects eternity; he or she can never tell where his or her influence stops. – Henry B. Adams
Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater. – Gail Godwin
The people best qualified to run the world are to busy teaching school.
Nine tenths of education is encouragement. – Anatole Frank
I Am a Teacher – by Phillip Done
I read Charlotte’s Web and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory every year, and every year when Charlie finds the golden ticket and Charlotte dies, I cry.
I take slivers out of fingers and bad sports out of steal the bacon. I know when a child has gum in his mouth even when he is not chewing. I have sung “Happy Birthday” 657 times.
I hand over scissors with the handles up. My copies of The Velveteen Rabbit and Treasure Island are falling apart. I can listen to one child talk about his birthday party and another talk about her sleepover and another talk about getting his stomach pumped last night – all at the same time.
I fix staplers that won’t staple and zippers that won’t zip, and I poke pins in the orange caps of glue bottles that will not pour. I had out papers and pencils and stickers and envelopes for newly pulled teeth. I know the difference between Austria and Australia.
I plan lessons while shaving, showering, driving, eating, and sleeping. I plan lessons five minutes before the bell rings. I know what time it is when the big hand is on the twelve and the little hand is on the nine. I say the r in library. I do not say the w in sword.
I put on Band-Aids and winter coats and school plays. I know they will not understand the difference between your and you’re. I know they will write to when it should be too. I say “Cover your mouth,” after they have coughed on me.
I am a teacher.
Connected Learning, a new research-driven initiative, was introduced at the Digital Media and Learning Conference 2012.
We see a growing gap between the learning mediums with which young people engage in-school and out-of-school. New social media enables young people to have greater choice and autonomy in pursuing their interests—whether academic, creative, or social—in domains outside of formal learning institutions. While engagement with culture and knowledge outside the classroom has changed markedly in the past decade, schools have been slower to adapt to digital and networked media. This gap between the more engaging social learning environments young people encounter outside of school, and the top-down and standardized curriculum that they encounter in most classrooms, is the source of a troubling and growing generation gap that is leading to academic disengagement for many young people. Addressing this gap requires a reconsideration of how learning is organized between settings of school, after-school, home and peer culture. When informal and youth-driven interest-driven learning does cross over to other learning contexts, we see the opportunity for what we call “connected learning”—learning in a socially meaningful and knowledge-rich ecology of ongoing participation, self-expression, and recognition (http://dmlcentral.net/projects/3677).
The historical roots for this current research agenda is grounded in two pieces of work:
- Henry Jenkins’ Participatory Culture
- Kids’ Informal Learning with Digital Media: An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures
Henry Jenkin’s introduced Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century through a white paper in 2006. He speaks more about it in his 2010 TEDxNYED talk.
Kids’ Informal Learning with Digital Media
“Kids’ Informal Learning with Digital Media: An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures” was a three-year collaborative project funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Carried out by researchers at the University of Southern California and University of California, Berkeley, the digital youth project explored how kids use digital media in their everyday lives. Mimi Ito discusses it in the following video.
At the core of connected learning are three values:
- Equity — when educational opportunity is available and accessible to all young people, it elevates the world we all live in.
- Full Participation — learning environments, communities, and civic life thrive when all members actively engage and contribute.
- Social connection — learning is meaningful when it is part of valued social relationships and shared practice, culture, and identity (http://connectedlearning.tv/connected-learning-principles).
This initiative is being driven by the following design principles:
- Shared purpose — Connected learning environments are populated with adults and peers who share interests and are contributing to a common purpose. Today’s social media and web-based communities provide exceptional opportunities for learners, parents, caring adults, teachers, and peers in diverse and specialized areas of interest to engage in shared projects and inquiry. Cross-generational learning and connection thrives when centered on common interests and goals.
- Production-centered — Connected learning environments are designed around production, providing tools and opportunities for learners to produce, circulate, curate, and comment on media. Learning that comes from actively creating, making, producing, experimenting, remixing, decoding, and designing, fosters skills and dispositions for lifelong learning and productive contributions to today’s rapidly changing work and political conditions.
- Openly networked — Connected learning environments are designed around networks that link together institutions and groups across various sectors, including popular culture, educational institutions, home, and interest communities. Learning resources, tools, and materials are abundant, accessible and visible across these settings and available through open, networked platforms and public-interest policies that protect our collective rights to circulate and access knowledge and culture. Learning is most resilient when it is linked and reinforced across settings of home, school, peer culture and community (http://connectedlearning.tv/connected-learning-principles).
Questions I Pose:
- What is the role of connected learning within established school institutions?
- Will teachers and students find “themselves” within the demonstration case studies?
- How will the ideas of K-12 teachers and students drive and provide feedback to this research agenda?
- What proactive steps will be taken to help the public-at-large (kids, parents, students, community members) understand and connect with Connect Learning?
- What are the researchers long term mission and agenda in terms of affecting broad and deep change in the educational policies in the United States?
The importance and significance of connected learning cannot be understated. Young people are engaging in informal learning stating that they often learn more outside of the school environment than inside of it.
The urgent need to reimagine education grows clearer by the day. Research has shown that too many students are disengaged and alienated from school, and see little or no purpose to their education. Business leaders say there is a widening gap between the skills of the workforce and the needs of businesses seeking competitive advantage. Additionally, technology and the networked era threatens to stretch the already-wide equity gap in education unless there is decisive intervention and a strong public agenda (http://connectedlearning.tv/connected-learning-principles).