Chapter 1 Quote: Thomas and Seely Brown (2011) "how the new culture of learning is taking root and transforming the way we think about information, imagination and play" (loc. 284).
Question: My biggest question is how to you allow students to learn when they haven't mastered the basics? Do we go back to direct instruction?
Connection: For me the biggest connection of the chapter was when Thomas and Seely Brown (2011) mentioned that we need to give students parameters within to work with information. I myself feel that I have been working toward this in my classroom and have been progressing every year. I am lucky because I teach 8th graders and by this time my students have mastered or at least learned many of the basic skills to be able to learn on their own. Recently, I let my students run wild with their final project for the year and I was impressed by how much they knew and how much they wanted to teach us.
Epiphany/Aha: We need as a society put our knowledge where people can see it. For example, Thomas and Seely Brown (2011) discuss the fact that one way to learn is too google the error. I myself have done this many times to find the answer to many things, including how to jailbreak my iPhone or how to change the condenser in my car, which I didn't have to because Youtube showed me that this was not the issue. As previously discussed I'm one of the people who is a visitor to the internet but because other people are natives they have helped me learn. In order to contribute to this learning I need to continue to push myself to post on the internet and help others learn.
Chapter 2 Quote: Thomas and Seely Brown (2011) point out that "Encountering boundaries spurs the imagination to become more active in figuring out novel solutions within the constraints of the situation or context" (loc. 338). I believe that necessity is the driving force to all innovation, I have experienced this with my own eyes when people have had to use any means available to get a truck working in the middle of the Peruvian mountains (a rope worked as a engine belt). Question: As I read this second chapter I'm still not sold on the idea that the environment that is created can work in all settings. Once again I go back to my first question, can this happen when the basics have not been mastered?
Connection: Going back to the quote above, two years ago when working with 7th grade students I decided to create a project that required various materials. One of those materials was tape, but as I saw my students wasting many of the materials I decided that I would not provide more tape then the one that was already in the classroom. So when students would come up and ask for more tape I would politely say "no". Well this is where the innovation started, one of my students realized that there was tape behind each chair that numbered the chairs in my classroom. He started using this tape and as other students realized what he was doing, they began to learn from him and use this tape to finish their project. Epiphany/Aha: I won't call this an "Aha" moment but the type of learning this book is calling for has been championed by a Brazilian scholar for decades now. His name is Paulo Freire and his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed is a book that is widely use in the BCLAD or dual language credential program.
Quote: "what students memorize are things they don't actually use very often in their day-today lives" (Thomas and Seely Brown, 2011, loc. 455). This is such a powerful quote and something may teachers just don't understand but I guess many people are stuck on how to win Jeopardy.
Question: How do we set up classrooms in oder for students to learn information without asking them to memorize?
Connection: I was watching the movie Big when reading this chapter and it made me think about how the main character in the movie was told to slow down or he would get everyone else get fired. In the end the character moves up the chain and becomes a major player in the company. Being able to adapt and change is necessary today as it was in the past. The difference is, how do we learn to change in this new culture, do we do it or do we wait for someone to teach it to us.
Epiphany/Aha: We need to develop structure and within that structure provide freedom so this means less rules more play, to me.
Resources Thomas, D., & Brown, J. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, KY: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.