- Quote: “But instead of providing a map, he sat them down in front of a computer and said ‘Find Iraq.’ One hundred percent of the students were able to do so—and more” (Thomas and Brown, 92).
- This quote displays the power of technology in new learning culture, showing how now finding information and skills to do so is what is important.
- Question: How much will degrees account for when most people can become amateur experts on most manners simply because the internet and technology?
- Connection: This reminds me of some of my course readings which have suggested that in the modern age, teachers should stop asking questions that can be answered with a simple Google search. Thus, teachers need to make use of higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (or Depth of Knowledge).
- Epiphany/Aha: This chapter’s section about play had me reflecting on the lack of respect for play and imagination in traditional education. We are often told that play is for children and after we get older in age, we need to buckle down and “grow up” so we can learn and mature, completely disregarding the benefit and potential of play. Play is often seen as extracurricular, but I began to see that it can just as well be a part of designed curriculum.
- Quote: [Referring to “This kind of learning highlights the importance of understanding the power of collaboration. It includes the ways in which the social functions of hanging out and the exploratory functions of messing around can be harnessed and compounded, through collaboration, to produce specialized knowledge networks and Internet-based communities and organizations” (Thomas and Brown, 104).
- This quote sort of concludes the information of the chapter into a summation of a vast technology based learning environment of today. Now kids learn while killing time by hanging out or messing around on platforms, simply exploring the technological tools available to them. Hanging out while exploring leads to collaboration, and individual curiosity, often shared with a collaborative group, which then leads to learning through the “specialized knowledge networks” the text speaks of (Thomas and Brown, 104).
- Question: Should schools support programs that can help students find collectives which will support their “geeking out” networks?
- Connection: I find this to be very accurate from my experience. First you get on a platform to hang out, you get exposed to features which get you experimenting and messing around; then you find yourself immersed in something you really enjoy and start to geek out on it, getting into it as a hobby, all the while still often hanging out and messing around.
- Epiphany/Aha: I came to the conclusion that technology has allowed a form of learning that has allowed the whole process of gaining new knowledge to often be enjoyable and rewarding for the entire process.
- Quote: “Games, which allow learners to play, explore, and experience, also allow them to discover what is important to them, what it is they actually want to learn—and that keeps them playing. When people stop learning in a game, they lose interest and quite.” (Thomas and Brown, 111).
- The chapter was very much about how games are often looked at as a waste of time, but how in the contrary, they are essential to today’s learning. Games such as World of Warcraft create these collective environments in which individuals strategize, create, question, and collaborate; all skills essential in the modern world. Yet what this quote captures, is that beyond all this, such avenues for learning also inspire a want to learn, thus they shouldn’t be overlooked.
- Question: Are problem-solving simulations a potential new common teaching path?
- Connection: I have myself played some videogames in which I was working with a group of people and we had to strategize how we would hold a certain area from enemy attackers. As I played I was always learning something new, and had to adjust to new ways enemies would come about trying to take our base, forcing me to explore, experiment, and question how they might think. There was always a new chance to learn and alter my gameplay which kept it fun.
- Epiphany/Aha: This chapter got me pondering potential simulations to play out in my class. It would have to factor in student agency, but if I could create such an environment that required collaboration and strategy, while still reflecting a lesson that relates to the curriculum, I could potentially reach students that would otherwise not be interested in the material.
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.