I have started scanning the Mind/Shift blog site with articles dealing with the future of education and learning. I picked this blog because it reeks of innovation and generating new ideas to replace old ones. Almost every article I have come across deals with ideas and research bent on shifting education. I am amazed to hear some of the thoughts people are having about assessment and what fosters an environment of learning. Hip hop? Video games? Sounds like a kids dream for assessment! But there are people working to make it possible.
Why do I hear/read so much about how the focus of learning is in standards and standardized tests, and then hear so many people calling these tests unproductive or meaningless? I love to hear when someone says, well, if we look at all the other aspects of living, pretty much everything is changing, except for education. “Even the kids are changing.” It’s good to hear someone giving advice to teachers on little things that may have a big swing eventually.
I’m going to continue my journey through this site, I can tell it has LOADS to offer.
After watching this video, I feel quite inspired to use technology in the classroom, as well as optimistic about an apparent shift from generic learning to problem solving and application based learning through technology in the classroom. The Quest 2 Learn school looks fantastic. It sounds as if they are really trying to find new ways to enable these kids to be the best they can be. I loved the bit about the importance of play, and that it never leaves you. I find that so true when I look back on my own education. Most of the big things I remember, I remember because I had to fiddle around to find out what I needed, and they just stuck in my head. I wouldn’t be surprised if the physical learning happening with hands on applications has muscle memory involved, and that is why we remember such things better.
I felt a running theme in the video was visual literacy, and how that will become a measure for levels of learning in the near future. The way students interpret what they find with technology is just as important as how well they are able to use the tech they have. Henry Jenkins also made a great distinction between addiction and dedication, and the double standard that lies within. Just because we spend hours on something that may be deemed unproductive by another does not necessarily make it so. Another good quote: “The best way to learn is to teach something.” So true.
At the end, one thing caught my attention. James Gee made a comment about 2 different types of schools, one being for the poor and the other being for the wealthy. He probably was not mentioning this as a statement of his own belief, but more based on the reality of the current socioeconomic spread in the US. Regardless, that doesn’t sound like the education system moving forward. His second statement about a “intelligent society” where we are all able to be innovative and collaborate with each other resounded better. This path, however, sounds much harder to achieve, but in saying that, I think that is the road we need to go down, or at least focus on. The hardest choice is almost always the best choice.
I have been out of school for about 5 years, and am in Marymount’s PDS grad program. I graduated from George Mason with a Fine Art degree in Drawing and Mixed Media with course work to go into art education, and have since decided against that. I have been in a sped classroom for 2 years, and decided to get into a gen ed. classroom. I love special education, but I had to make a decision! I am hoping to teach 3rd-6th grade.