Reaction to “New Learners of the 21st Century” video

“tinkering brings thought and action together in some very powerful magical ways” -John Seely Brown

The video below discusses five learning programs across the country focusing on technology and digital media. It is interesting hearing about all the different technology driven teaching programs being implemented across the country. The program that stuck out to me the most of the Quest for Learning in New York, NY. Quest for Learning is a “school for digital kids.” I was first hesitant on the idea of a school based around game design, however, Quest for Learning provides students with an engaging curriculum based on the New York state standards.  

I am curious of the outcomes of Quest for Learning. How are the students performing on their standardized tests? Where are the students going when they graduate? If the students are performing at level or higher, then I believe this is an incredible program. But what about those children who struggle in the world of STEM? Is this program only reaching a specific student? The benefit of Quest for Learning in the engagement of the students who are more likely to play on a computer or watch TV is on point. One of the hardest aspects of teaching is to engage the students, and this program does that easily. I am interested in learning more about the student body that makes up Quest for Learning.

Creativity is an aspect of the mind that is difficult to teach. Quest for Learning targets the creativity in students during each lesson/activity. As students use trial and error they are “tinkering” with their game in order to find the perfect outcome. John Seely Brown stated, “tinkering brings thought and action together in some very powerful magical way.” In his monologue he discussed the power of tinkering and finding what works. When a person uses trial and error and works to find a solution, the pathway to the solution and the solution are stored in the brain in a more meaningful way. In John Seely Brown’s words, it is a “life long learning event.” 

Quest for Learning is an incredible concept for learning. The field of education seems to be using its own kind of trial and error in order to find a solution. I look forward to continuing my own journey in discovering the “ideal” education program for students. 

Here is the link to the video: New Learners of the 21st Century

“life long learning event” -John Seely Brown

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My “thoughts” on the Te@chthought blog…

I have been exploring a variety of education/technology blogs. While doing so, I came across the Te@chthought blog. The layout and organization of this blog is simple yet practical. Tabs at the top provide broad topics of the posts within them. Trending posts are also listed along the side, providing the reader with a variety of options of where to browse.

I immediately was drawn to this blog because it has an entire tab on iPads. Next year the school I will be teaching as is a 1:1 school with iPads. I believe I am an adequate Apple products/iPad user; however, integrating technology into my classroom with iPads is something I am not as comfortable with. This blog has many posts on using iPads in the classroom as both a planning and teaching tool. 

One particle post I will continue to go back to is about iPad apps to promote creativity. Within this post the blogger provides a list of 25 apps with a short description about the company or the application itself. While reading this post I immediately thought about my current class and their individual social studies projects. My current students are creatively putting together e-books about a research topic they chose from ancient Egypt. Many students have created scratch art, posters, and powerpoint in addition to writing their e-books. My students are currently using Microsoft Publisher to create these e-books; however, they needed to use a previously made template and struggle with putting their own twist into the layout and design. As I read this post, I saw an app listed that creates e-books, Book Creator. I immediately downloaded this app and began exploring. I then spoke to the technology teacher about what I discovered. Ironically, she had learned about this app shortly after our project was started and plans to implement the app next year once she has a better grasp on it. I look forward to seeing how I can incorporate the Book Creator application in my new classroom next year. I have noticed that students enjoy sharing their knowledge in a “book” form and feel a sense of ownership over their work.

Allowing students to explore and use their creativity is important in the classroom. I look forward to exploring more of the creative applications listed in the te@chthought post and continue my exploration of teaching/technology blogs. 

Here is the link: Te@chthought