1. One of the themes that continued to come up as I was poking around exploring the idea behind Connected Learning this week was the word “community.” I think this is such a valuable word in education. Connected Learning fosters an adaptive, life-long learner, but it does so through collaboration. We have grown up hearing, “Two heads are better than one,” yet, in the “traditional classroom” there is so much independent work. When we look at successful people in this world we see so much collaboration and teamwork. Teachers should foster this style of learning in their classroom. What I like about Connected Learning is that it empowers people to “create opportunity together.” In the 21st century, life is interconnected. The video below talks about the Ecosystem of learning and that school is only one piece of a larger system of learning. http://educatorinnovator.org/why-connected-learning/
2. The link below is a video that I watched on the Connected Learning Alliance. I was “wow’d” by the ninth graders view of learning. In the video, Charles says that he wants to take charge of his own learning. How common is it for a ninth grader to say those words? Many ninth graders feel that school is a waste of time, or that it doesn’t fit under a desirable task, but rather it’s something that kids just have to do. In the article linked below, Charles says that Connected Learning enables you to look at really big problems and just simplify them. Kids need to learn this. As a 30 year old, I am just starting to learn to simplify large problems. If I learned this skill as a ninth grader, I can’t imagine what a better person I would be. I would know how to deal with stress, and more importantly, I would have taken bigger risks towards my education and career. Teaching students to learn from their own interests enables kids to become successful, finding a career path that also interests them.
3. Wow, this is simply AMAZING! Totally worth reading, and watching the minute long Youtube that is linked to it after reading the article. This week’s theme, “Honoring Our Interests” is completely summarized here. In summary, Laura Ritchie connected students through something she was passionate about; music. Laura brought together violin players from beginner to expert. Her main message to the group she worked with was to come together and make connections through shared interests. She didn’t use social media, or media, but rather used the elements of brining people together, and connectedness, to reach a final product. Laura used her interest to put together an entire Overture. Really, really awesome read to show that the principles of connected learning has so many opportunities! http://connectedlearning.tv/personal-stories/laura-ritchie-connecting-students-through-music
Watch the video here to see how much fun this experience was! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHMlG9ebfdA#action=share
4. So, all of this free-spirited, self-driven, interest-based learning sounds awesome, right?! This is a great blog I stumbled upon while looking at the list that Christina shared on the site. It’s a question that continuously comes up regarding curriculum and common core, and standards. Read, and join in on the responses if you wish! http://royanlee.com/?p=4649
5. I saved the best for last! Talk about “Interest Driven!” I know that as a teacher, I often view learning as what happens in the classroom. As I read the blog below it reminded me what a wonderful world we live in; surrounded by so much learning! Doctors, teaching the incoming students how to perform surgeries. Dancers, breaking down each step so that it’s manageable to learn and memorize. Line cooks, piecing a five-course dinner together. There is learning happening every second of the day. Learning to the extreme. This blog was written by a man who was working full time, a father, a husband, and taking two grad classes to pursue a degree in psychology. Although it seemed terribly impossible, it wasn’t. Extreme? It was. I have always been an extremist. I hate being busy, but yet I thrive upon doing ten things too many. This connects really well to this week’s theme of “Interests.” When asks “What motivates you?” I think about success. Accomplishing a lot of things motivates me. Saying that I can do it motivates me. This blog relates to those ideas, perfectly. As educators, we need to find out what motivates our students. After finding that is when we can encourage them to be self-driven and chase their dreams. http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/2016/01/extreme-learning.html