Friday, March 2, 2012

Rethinking Learning - Chapter One

My focus while reading chapter one was turned toward “rethinking learning.”  Thinking about how schools and classrooms are changing can cause us to fall into a tizzy.  It is overwhelming to think about everything the internet has to offer as well as all the negative aspects that are presented with it.  As educators we have to be prepared to incorporate all the available resources to help our students succeed.  Chapter one outlines two game-changing conditions that help us understand the available resources that the internet provides.

2.       “The sum of human knowledge will be at our fingertips”

When we look at the implications of having two billion teachers who are just a “click” away we begin to see how we/our students will benefit.  We can create virtual relationships with educators across the globe and benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience.  A teacher will have the ability to teach in classrooms in Ohio, The UK and Hawaii without even leaving their living room.  The technology will allow us to expand our talents and abilities.

We no longer have to rely solely on our textbooks and our personal knowledge.  We can research a topic for a lesson plan and have infinite ideas, lessons, subject matter, written papers, research and so much more at our disposal.  Is it all valid and useful?  Of course not but it is available.  We can pick and choose what our curriculum will include and how our lessons will be structured.  We can share our lessons with other and receive feedback almost immediately. 

The relationship between teacher and student will begin to evolve into a much more interactive relationship.  Students will be able to research topics and formulate their own opinions, and then come together with their peers and their teacher to discuss and develop their knowledge.  Learning is a social activity.

We have to be constantly looking forward to what is new and cutting edge.  If we don’t we will be left by the wayside.  There are six year old children who can navigate and work technology better than their parents.  If we don’t begin to embrace the change and incorporate it into our lives we will be left behind.  Unwillingness to embrace the 21st century and all it has to offer is fine if your goal is to coast through life.  The baseline is that technology is the future.

The best way to sum up the fact that we have to embrace these changes, whether we want to or not,  with the best of our ability is stated as the last sentence of chapter one…

“For our kids’ sake, we don’t have much choice.”

While looking up our book online I came across this video.  Check it out!

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