Chapter One: Arc-of-Life Learning
Quote: "Play, questioning, and—perhaps mot important--imagination lie at the very heart of arc-of-life learning" (64). This quote is at the heart of learning and captures how people make sense of the world. It also allows us to connect the way we learned in the past with the way we learn in the future.
Question: How do we combine the abundance of information and a structured environment to learn effectively in a world that is constantly changing?
Connection: My experiences in the EDL621 course and EDL630 course have caused me to rethink how students learn, how I learn, and what motivates today's learner. In many ways, these courses have transformed the way I think about education and learning, and what Thomas and Brown (2011) state as key elements for the new culture of learning: information, imagination, and play. From Wager's book, The Global Achievement Gap (2014), I learned about the essential survival skills students need to survive in this 21st century "world of abundance." Reflecting on my 20 percent project and on many of the "cool" technology tools I have learned through discovery, I feel I have become part of the new culture of learning. I have shared interests with many of the online communities I have joined, developed my passions (finally turned the wine grapes into jam), and have engaged in a play of imagination through my own participation in a 3D game lab or "gamified" environment. Much of Thomas and Brown's book remind me of the New Social Movement paradigms I learned about while in graduate school at UCSD (1990), only here the identities being constructed are being driven by the pace of technology and a need to change along with it, rather than new identities emerging as part of a counter culture or a need to overthrow existing regimes.
Epiphany: The connection between resources and personal motivations, and how everyday people are using these to construct something personally meaningful that at the same time, adds to the existing knowledge. I am inspired and challenged to integrate some of these new modes of learning into my classroom. In terms of my role as a leader in technology, I am committed to a more effective integration of it.
Chapter Two: A Tale of Two Cultures
Quote: "Encountering boundaries spurs the imagination to become more active in figuring out novel solutions within the constraints of the situation or context." (327). As children we are naturally curious and are constantly solving problems. I agree with the idea that boundaries challenge humans to find answers to problems. What is needed often is the time to figure out innovative solutions.
Question: How do we get our school environments to thrive in 21st century where many of the boundaries are not yet defined? If the answer is to form a symbiotic relation with our environment, how do we construct this new identity?
Connection: In order to survive in the 21st century abundance of information, students need to be able to create in this new culture and not just react or adapt to it. As educators, we need to help our students to emerge with the new environment and provide them with the resources and tools needed to continue to grow with it rather than be left behind.
Epiphany: Embracing what we don't know is okay, as long as we come up with better solutions, and continue to ask questions. As an educator, it is important to continue to learn, ask questions, and problem solve. In this way, we too, change with the environment and continue to construct the world around us.
Chapter Three: Embracing Change
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" (454). I chose this quote because it conveys what is necessary to compete in today's world.
Question: How do I convince others to embrace change and be open to it rather than feeling like they are being forced to adjust, especially in education? What is the right balance of structure and freedom?
Connection: We need to embrace change and start looking at information as a resource or tool, and view learning in a new way (that it is constructed through our engagement and interactions with the world and through). As an educator, I must incorporate elements into my teaching such as questioning, play, and imagination, and I must be willing to change my teaching practices where needed to be part of the new culture.
Epiphany: Innovation and play are key to a happy workplace, happy life, and continued motivation, yet there is struggle to achieve this. Here is where the challenge lies.