A New Culture of Learning by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown
Quote/explain - “Play, questioning, and - perhaps most important - imagination lie at the very heart of arc-of-life learning.” (18-19)
Experience the world through play and questioning. It is so important for teachers to allow students to be creative because creativity sparks a flame of a deeper connection to learning.
Question - How can we teach our students to allow creativity to be a part of their learning?
Connection - I love to plan lessons that involve creativity. I recently had my students create and illustrate haikus - they had to follow a specific format, so they had to think outside of the box in order to make their wording fit the format. I had them go outside for inspiration. Students were so engaged in this lesson, and create some pretty amazing poetry and artwork.
Epiphany - I continue to be impressed by the work that my students do when there is a bit of play involved in their projects. When they are able to be creative, outside the confines of the regular type of lesson, they produce some pretty amazing work.
Chapter 2 - A Tale of Two Cultures
Quote/explain - “In the new culture of learning the point is to embrace what we don’t know, come up with better questions in order to learn more and more, both incrementally and exponentially” (38).
As teachers, we need to be teaching our students how to ask questions in order to gain a better understanding of what is being learned. Students need to be able to expand their horizons, instead of being boxed in by what are thought to be the “right” answers.
Question - What methods can we use to get students away from seeking the “right” answers and move towards asking questions and discovering beyond what is simply right?
Connection - I feel as though I always make a connection to students wanting the right answer to everything. I am trying to move away towards “right” answers, and more towards what my students actually THINK. I had a student ask me a question the other day that I didn’t know the answer to (imagine that)...the question really impressed me. I loved that he was thinking outside of the box and asking questions that I hadn’t anticipated.
Epiphany - I'm thinking of activities to do with my students and one popped into my mind as far as asking questions - how about starting class off, having students write down a question that they have about ANYTHING. Perhaps having them actually practice asking questions will help them develop into better question-askers?
Chapter 3 - Embracing Change
Quote/explain - “As information is constantly produced, consumed, updated, and altered, new practices of reading, writing, thinking, and learning have evolved with it” (42).
With the fast pace of technology, the world we know is constantly changing and we must be willing to change with it. We need to seek new alternatives to what is considered the “normal.”
Question - How can we get technology in every classroom?!
Connection - At my first school site, the students had access to both iPads and Chromebooks. It was awesome being able to have my students type up essays in class and send them to me for comments via email. The amount of paper used was 0, I could write comments in minutes and send the paper back to them to revise, and, using Google Docs, I could monitor student progress after they gave me access. I could have students pull out an iPad and research a job that they would write a letter of introduction for. They could play games in order to improve their vocabulary and grammar. It was incredible, to say the least. They were engaged and working!
Epiphany - We need to get technology in all classrooms! Students are so connected to their technology - as I’ve said before, we need to get it in the classroom and utilize this tool!