I can see things changing in my classroom as I increase my learning network and see the benefit to learning from others and connecting through social media.
My students are working on a space unit and I thought I would use my new twitter skills to connect with experts. I came across @Cmdr_Hadfield who is currently commanding the ISS in Space. I have literally become obsessed with his real-time photos from the ISS and his question and answer sessions on Reddit. In wanting my students to see the value to learning from others and giving them some tools that they can, possibly in the future, find their own learning networks I have found excitement with this sharing and connecting.
In the Living With New Media document, the Macarthur Foundation states that when young people geek out they are exploring areas of interest that go beyond common knowledge by seeking out expert knowledge networks outside of usual friendship-driven networks. This is essentially what we are doing and what we want our students to do. They go on to talk about geeking out goes beyond just the “consuming” of information (which is what so many of us do regularly) to actually producing knowledge that contributes to the knowledge network. I realize how this starts with me and shifting my thinking to understanding that I have something to say and want to contribute to my learning network. It is a difficult shift but one that is truly valuable and I am slowly beginning to see those rewards.
The essential question for this week is: How can we effectively, practically and authentically embed technology within our curricular areas?
Good question, really, and I have no idea. I ask myself this all the time and I really don’t know. I think we just keep doing what we’re doing through the lens of technology and seeing “just in time” opportunities to show our students how they can help each other, learn from others and inquire into areas of interest without us. Becoming less helpful is something I keep reminding myself of. I recently attended a Math in the PYP workshop and came across an article through this that talked about the need for educators to become less helpful – it can be messy but it is where the true learning takes place. This is inquiry – releasing control, allowing for messing around, exploring and making mistakes.
Teachers, its time we become less helpful and become more obsessed with new media for us and for our students.
Signing out….or do we ever really sign out?