- Quote: “A growing digital, network infrastructure is amplifying our ability to access and use nearly unlimited resources and incredible instruments while connecting with one another at the same time” (Thomas and Brown, 17-18).
- To me this quote sums up the experiences throughout the chapter. People found themselves on a digital platform in which they got to connect with others whom they could not only learn from, but teach themselves. Access to resources and communities of people allowed them to develop a knowledge in a not so traditional sense.
- Question: The one question that arose with me was, what does one do when they come across misinformation or conflicting sources?
- I would imagine the interactions would be vast and varied, often opposing each other.
- Connection: As I was reading this chapter I just kept thinking of the edchat I had joined about teaching with technology. In it a Google Doc was created where all of the participant could add something they find useful or interesting for the classroom.
- Epiphany/Aha: The “aha” moment that I had, happened during “Sam’s Story” about joining the community of “Scratch” MIT program. In EDUC 422, I created a Scratch on A. Philip Randolph, but this story reminded me of its potential, particularly as a tool of “remix” (Thomas and Brown, 22). As Sam discovered, one can remix and improve upon a prior work, which gave me the idea of a potential assessment for my classes in which a presentation is created and peers respond via a “remix” and reflection, discussing why they made the changes they did.
- Quote: “We believe, however, that learning should be viewed in terms of an environment—combined with the rich resources provided by the digital information network—where the context in which learning happens, the boundaries that define it, and the students, teachers, and information within it all coexists and shape each other in a virtually reinforcing way” (Thomas and Brown, 35).
- This quote epitomizes the theme of the chapter, that with the new available resources and information available, we should try and avoid boundaries and strictly defined learning parameters. Learning should instead be about the process, and adaptation with the environments, in which we learn.
- Question: How can we go about selling this idea of new learning to the generation that has found itself in between the traditional and new philosophies?
- Connection: I would say the biggest leap I have seen towards this “new culture of learning” (Thomas and Brown, 37) in education has been the transition from NLCB to the Common Core. Yet, there have still be significant restrictions on autonomy of creativity in the Common Core, which I feel could be addressed. In addition, there has been a transitional where some students are still trying to transition to the changes of philosophy/method in education.
- Epiphany/Aha: This chapter had me thinking about how much more reason there is in k-12 education to stress online community cultivation, and perhaps support international learning. We have so much more access of technology, it is not out of the realm of possibility to promote more learning from people across the globe.
- Quote: “In a world of near- constant flux, play becomes strategy for embracing change, rather than a way for growing out of it” (Thomas and Brown, 48).
- I believe this quote exemplifies the fact that this chapter teaches upon; the rapid growth of technology has changed society and learning to the point that we can no longer simply pass along information. The pace of today requires constant change and creativity to continue and add on to the innovation.
- Question: How will we adapt to ever increasing technology in the future?
- Connection: This chapter had me thinking very deeply about Will Richardson’s book “Why School?” and how school has no other option but to adapt to the changing world that technology innovated.
- Epiphany/Aha: My “aha” moment was actually one of my critiques of this chapter. I will say that I do find Wikipedia as a valuable source, but my one fear is that younger generations will no longer see importance of true sifting through valid information and sources. Sure often there are good corrections on such websites, however, there is also much potential for edits that are actually detrimental. It can go both as a tool for education or mis-education, as with other open source websites.
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. Lexington, KY: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.