Quote: “In short, the connection between resources and personal motivation led people to cultivate their imaginations and recreate the space in a new way.” page 31
This quote sums up the chapter well. In this chapter we were introduced to several stories about individuals who were able to obtain a tremendous amount of knowledge outside of the school classroom, by their own initiative. Each individual was able to utilize resources, including communities, to find the information they were seeking. One key piece in each story was personal motivation. Each individual wanted to know what he or she was learning.
Question: How can we implement this type of learning in our own classrooms and provide so much freedom while still guiding our students in “the right direction”?
Connection: I am now using Pinterest as a research tool for my 20% Project. I had not used a site like this before and I have been impressed by the multitude of resources, which were so easy to find. I am finding this tool to be especially helpful for my project. I am making the connection between resources available and my personal motivation and this connection is so far leading me in a very positive direction.
Epiphany/Aha: “Allen mastered every computer language he needed to start and run his own business- without ever attending a single class on programming.” page 26
This statement depends on how you define a “class”. By googling codes and learning from others’ discussions and blog posts, wasn’t he attending a class?
Quote: “the teaching-based approach focuses on teaching us about the world, while the new culture of learning focuses on learning through engagement within the world” page 38
I feel that this quote sums up the chapter well because this chapter compared the two different approaches to learning. I like that this quote distinguishes the difference between learning about and learning within. Sometimes school feels so cut off from the rest of the world and I think that this is one of the first barriers that needs to be broken down in order to facilitate the new culture of learning.
Question: If all learning should occur “within the world,” the truth is that not all mathematics is necessary for most in their lives. However, I believe that the critical thinking that is learned through exposure to higher-level math is very beneficial. So if I cannot make learning mathematics about learning within the world, does this make it less important?
Connection: I recently participated in a Twitter chat and the topic was communicating with parents/families. I feel that by increasing the frequency and quality of communication with families, teachers can move towards breaking down the wall between school and the rest of the world.
Epiphany/Aha: By talking about learning as a culture, it reminded me that establishing such a culture would be a difficult feat for a single teacher. Culture requires collaboration and I hope that I work at a school in which the staff works together to maintain a learning environment fitting of the changing culture of learning.
Quote: “Embracing change means looking forward to what will come next. It means viewing the future as a set of new possibilities, rather than something that forces us to adjust.” page 43
This chapter was all about embracing change! I chose this quote because I feel that with all the changes going on specifically in mathematics education right now, educators need to look forward to the changes and be optimistic about the outcomes. I am excited about the Common Core Math curriculum; however, I am also prepared for it to change because it is still in the experimental stage.
Question: What specifically has changed about our society so drastically that it took 70 years to popularize color television and only 11 to go from 18% to 73% of families with Internet access?
Connection: This chapter discussed constant change in the work place and how companies are no longer available to provide trainings for every new tool because they are coming out so quickly and changing so frequently. I have experienced this in clinical practice. Before the program, I was unfamiliar with many of the Google apps and since they are used at my school sites, I had to quickly train myself. I did so by utilizing “play” to familiarize myself with the tools.
Epiphany/Aha: Adults learn very similarly to students. Like the chapter explained, if adults don’t know how to use an Internet tool, they play in order to figure it out. Students learn similarly. I want to work on structuring math lessons in such a way that students can play with a tool in order to figure out its use.