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


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

  1. Great post and some great questions. I personally feel that achievement on standardize tests have little effect on the future of many of our digital learners. SOLs are a measurement of the educational system, not the learner. Just like the integration of tech, the vocational/career centers/schools have had to accommodate the system measures (standardized tests) while provide project/problem based learning that measured the students ability to move into the work force for years…not a new problem. Teachers are going to have a real problem engaging this new generation of digital learners with traditional, SOL driven classes. I remember several times asking teachers, ‘why do I need to know this’ back in my day…a day before Google searching. What is the answer now that we live in a Google search world?
    You mentioned, “Creativity is an aspect of the mind that is difficult to teach.” I agree. However, isn’t easier to create an environment in which creativity can exist? Can more of our lesson’s provide flexibility in the way we assess? Can our unit plan evolve into a more project-based focus that allows students demonstrate what/how they are learning in different ways?

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