- What have you learned or gained thus far? Details.
Wow, where do I start with this one. I am learning to pull myself out of my shell and allowing myself to be vulnerable and creative. This is scary for me, since I’ve learned to not do this over time without even realizing it. Sir Ken’s description on school killing creativity really speaks to me because of this - I used to write a ton when I was a kid, creating all sorts of stories and images. I also loved photography. One day I stopped, I was nervous and self conscious about it and have thought of myself as the opposite of creative most of my life. Photography sort of carried forward, but only in my personal life. When I get compliments on pictures I take, even casual ones for people of themselves on their phone, I can't feel the compliment because I'm not creative....I'm starting to recognize that now. What that means is what I'm learning the most from this class, honestly, is how to start coming out of my shell and allowing myself to try things without tying my self-image to it. This has been an interesting journey for me so far!
2. What would you like to learn more about? Why?
I would like to explore more about teaching empathy and individuality in schools, and what we can do NOW with the traditional school system the way it is now. I feel that we can begin to implement some of these changes now that will start to shift education overall. We have to start somewhere and I’d love to explore more ways to implement in the school where I work and through conversations with educators in other schools! I also wonder if Project Based Learning might be a decent place to start. My younger son has an opportunity to attend a new PBL middle school this fall and I'm nervous about it. The unknown. I'd love to learn more about PBL.
3. Have you left the status-quo behind? Do you feel challenged? Explain.
I feel incredibly challenged and it's mostly on the mental front. I have felt confronted as well as excited during this class so far; all great things that mean I’m growing and expanding in my feelings, thoughts, perspectives, and general understandings of the world. I find myself questioning and rephrasing my perspectives and thinking out of the box I had put myself in over the years.
4. What did you expect coming into this course, and what have you actually received, thus far?
To be honest, I was scared to take this class. I had forgotten I loved creating stories as a child, and the thought of ‘digital stories’ as a class scared me to death. I nearly didn’t take this class because of this, and that is the main reason I thought I should take it. My expectations were that we might create digital stories and that scared me. What I have found is not only creation, but more discussion and exploration on why stories are important, how they are changing with the digital age, and how we can use them grow as a society. I hadn’t really thought about everything being a story, even though I felt that way at some point - it’s all about perspective! I am incredibly glad I am in this course, it's a great learning/growing experience for me!
5. What would you like to learn and do for the second four weeks of our time together?
This is a tough choice, there are so many great topics! I think the one that speaks most to me is the Gen Z Culture. I feel this could balance and pull in other topics such as empathy building, digital identity & social media, or VR for example if we wanted to go that way. So I vote for Generation Z Culture.
6. Reflect specifically on the ideas/ideals presented in the videos above, and the article we annotated this week. With whom do you agree or disagree most strongly - Sir Ken Robinson, John Seely Brown, or Henry Jenkins? Explain.
Since I feel they all pretty much talk about the same goals but in a different way, it is difficult to choose one that I agree with more than others. Having to choose I would go with Sir Ken Robinson, that we need an overall educational paradigm shift. I agree that we need to change the way we are teaching in our classrooms, and I don’t think that could be accounted for with only play. Seely Brown and Jenkins are not saying play is the only way to learn, they mention play is a powerful way to learn; which I agree with. I feel it would be beneficial to incorporate into the paradigm shift of education and have seen that start to take place; but it's not enough. I agree with Sir Ken that we need to wake the learner up rather than anesthetize them, allow them to be themselves and not conform to what we say students need to look like; we need to stop shaping people to become like the same type of person. We need to allow our students to discover for themselves what they want to be, how they learn best, and find a different methodology to teach our students the skills/subjects they might not want to learn but they need to know. However, I think if the educational system were different, students would likely be more excited to learn and that might no longer be as much of an issue. When looking at children in Kindergarten and First Grade, they are excited to learn nearly every subject; they just want to learn. I feel we need to find a way to keep that love of learning, to keep student curiosity piqued. Jenkins mentions playing games is similar to the scientific process with experimentation, and I think that is a great comparison. Through this process, students would be able to try on different ideas, see which work best. Or in a simulation they could try different paths and see where it leads them. Seely Brown mentions when someone wants to learn more about a subject, nothing can really stop them in this age of information at our fingertips. He talks about how likely it is to find others with similar interests (affinity groups) now as well, and I feel the power behind this drive to want to learn is a crucial component to capture.
It is nice to think about love of learning in this light because I can see that even though my kids don’t love (or like) school, they still have a love of learning for topics they are interested in. While they are going through the traditional school process, I feel I can help them tap into that to keep some their individuality and hopefully help support their creativity even while traditional school is squashing it.
I've also created a little journey through my reflection video.