Sunday, August 16, 2020

will this blog see tomorrow?

It's an open question.  Think about our first in-class discussion, ask yourself what you really want out of this semester, and then comment to this post with your decision and at least one reason for it.  (NOTE: As Benjamin Franklin famously observed, "We all hang together or we all hang separately." We won't move forward unless all of us participate.

I've created an approach to learning in which students use 2.0 tools to create their online identities, express themselves, and show the public what they can do. 

I call the model Open-Source Learning and I define it with a mouthful: "A guided learning process that combines timeless best practices with today's tools in a way that empowers learners to create interdisciplinary paths of inquiry, communities of interest and critique, and a portfolio of knowledge capital that is directly transferable to the marketplace."

Students use Open-Source Learning to create a wild variety of personal goals, Big Questions, Collaborative Working Groups, and online portfolios of work that they can use for personal curiosity, self-improvement, or as a competitive advantage in applying for jobs, scholarships, and admission to colleges and universities.  You can see a sample course blog here, some member blogs here, and sample masterpieces here and here

Several members of the first Open Source Learning cohort made this video about the experience:



In an era when it seems like all you hear about school is how much it sucks, it's nice to see student achievement make positive waves.  Check out this Open-Source Learning interview with students and Howard Rheingold, the man who literally wrote the book on The Virtual Community 20 years ago. 

The defining characteristic of Open-Source Learning is that there is no chief; all of us are members of a network that is constantly evolving.  Another key element is transparency.  What we learn and how well we learn it, how we respond to setbacks, and even some of our favorite inspirations and habits of mind are right out there in public for everyone to see.  Readers will rightly perceive what we curate as the best we have to offer.

And all this is Open.  In thermodynamics, an open system exchanges substance, not just light and heat.  To us, the important idea is that the network can change in composition and purpose.  Every time you meet someone new and exchange ideas, you're not only enriching each other, you're changing your minds and contributing opportunities for others to do the same.  In other words, you're learning and teaching* (*one of the most effective ways to learn).

We're not limited to one source for curriculum or instruction.  We have a full slate of online conferences scheduled this year including authors, authorities on the Internet and social media, entrepreneurs, and others.  A few years ago a mother/daughter team presented a lesson on class distinctions in Dickens & Dr. Seuss online.  Ricky Luna invited a champion drummer to talk with students online about music and its connections to literature and life.  If we read something that makes an impression we can reach out to the author.    As you get the hang of this you'll come up with your own ideas.  Testing them will give you a better sense of how to use the experience to your greatest advantage.

No one knows how learning actually works--what IS that little voice that tells you what you should've said 15 minutes after you should've said it?  How does a subneuronal lightning storm somehow account for our experience of being conscious?  We are not sure how to account for the individual experience and demonstration of learning.  We are also not sure what exactly the individual should be learning about at a time when factoids are a search click away and the economy, the environment, and the future are all increasingly complex and uncertain.

Maybe this is why learning still seems magical.  Maybe it shouldn't be.  Maybe if we learned more about how we think we'd be better off.  After all, how we think is a powerful influence on how we act.  If you think of your blog work as a list of traditional school assignments/chores, you will treat it that way and it will show.   Your friends will miss your posts and worry that you've moved to The House Beyond the Internet-- or that you're still at your place but trapped under something heavy.  At any rate you'll be missing the whole point.  This work should help you connect the dots between the interests that drive you, an academic course that derives its title from words hardly anyone uses in casual conversation, and practical tasks like applying for scholarships and college admissions.  The general idea is for you to: do your best at something personally meaningful; learn about how you and others learn while you're in the act; and fine-tune your life accordingly.  In addition to mastering the core curriculum, improving your own mind is the highest form of success in this course of study.

As you well know (Put that phone away or I'll confiscate it!), many people are worried about the use of technology in education.  They are rightly concerned about safety, propriety, and focus: will learners benefit or will they put themselves at risk?  The only way to conclusively prove that the benefits far outweigh the risks is to establish your identities and show yourselves great, both online and in meatspace.  As we move forward you will learn how the Internet works, how you can be an effective online citizen, and how you can use 2.0 and 3.0 tools to achieve your personal and professional goals.  You'll also learn a lot about writing and the habits of mind that make readers and writers successful communicators. 

Because Open-Source Learning is a team sport, this is all your call.  You have to decide if you want to pursue this new direction, or if you want to invent another possibility with or without digital and social media, or if you prefer the familiarity of the traditional approach.  There is admittedly something comforting about the smell of an old book, even if it's a thirty-pound textbook that spent the summer in a pile of lost-and-found P.E. clothes.  My perspective may be obvious but I'm just one voice.  Please add yours with a comment below.

55 comments:

  1. What I really want to get out of this semester is learning advanced words for essays, poems, etc. I've grown tired of not being able to use such advanced words and just stuck with elementary level. Imagine using elementary level to write essays in college, the professors would literally just ignore your work just by the writing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I want to learn something that I can apply in life not just learning almost the same thing I learned in elementary or junior high. So I want to learn something that is new to me that I wont forgot or do something that wasn't a waste time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This semester I would like to learn how to write in a way that compels people. I want to make people feel something whether it's happiness, motivation, or a feeling that they need to change because is this type of writing that causes change in society and can start movements. In addition to causing change this type of writing is also very useful if you would like to be persuasive.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This semester I want to learn how to structure my writing better and make the words more mellifluous when reading. In addition to this I want to change my writing to become more detailed and learn something new that I don’t already know that could help improve my writing skills.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This semester I really want to improve my ability to write essay's, thus improving my writing and reading capabilities to the fullest.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This semester I would like to further my skills in writing because I want to be at my very best every time I have to write an essay and maybe even stories.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This semester I want to get better at analyzing poetry because I feel like I only understand poetry writings on a basic level but I want to be able to see and understand the more complex/deeper meanings.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This semester I would like to work on being able to use challenging words in essays and I also want to have better skills in writing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This semester I would like to improve on my reading comprehension skills. Also I would like to expand my vocabulary.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This semester ! would like to improve my reading and make my writing better.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This semester I would like to work on being able to use challenging words in essays and I also want to have better skills in writing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This semester I would like to improve my reading and my writing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This semester I would like to improve my writing

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would like to improve my writing skills and expand my vocabulary.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This semester I would like to improve on my hand writing and I would like to use more professional words in essays.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This semester i would like to better my essays and expand my vocabulary.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This semester I would like to improve on my writing and my vocabulary.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. In this semester I would like to improve my writing and to use more professional words instead of low level words.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This semester I would like to improve my essay writing skills.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This semester I would like to expand my vocabulary and improve my writing skills, possibly get better at being more detailed in my writings as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. this semester i would like to improve my reading skills and wrighting skills

      Delete
  24. This semester I want to learn to write more interesting essays and dilate my vocabulary.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This semester i want to learn to have an easier time writing essays.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This semester i wold like to use more advaced vocablary words and to be able to write an essay professionally and to improve.

    ReplyDelete
  27. This semester I would like to improve my writing skills and vocabulary as much as I can. I would also like to improve my reading.

    ReplyDelete
  28. What I want from this semester is to improve my skills in story writing and just writing in general as to make more sense and not confuse others/not bore others. I would also like to improve in adding more to my vocabulary and incorporating that into my writing more property.

    ReplyDelete
  29. What I want from this semester is to be able to expand my vocabulary, understand the deeper meaning to certain stories or poems, and improve in my writing skills when writing essays or a story.

    ReplyDelete
  30. What I want from this semester is to be able to expand my vocabulary, understand the deeper meaning to certain stories or poems, and improve in my writing skills when writing essays or a story.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I would like to improve both my reading and writing skills.

    ReplyDelete
  32. What I really want from this Semester would be being able to improve my grammar and spelling. I would also like to learn new and better words that would make a future essay sound better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is Angel Rivera for some reason it says im unknown.

      Delete
  33. this semester i would really like to improve my writing and vocabulary because that's what i really need help the most

    ReplyDelete
  34. This semester I just really want to get better at my reading and writing and just be able to expand my vocabulary and just put more meaning when writing my essays.

    ReplyDelete
  35. What i want out this semester is to really get better on my writing skills and also get better at my reading skills.

    ReplyDelete
  36. This semester i want to be able to become a better writer because i will really need it in my future.

    ReplyDelete
  37. This semester I would like to improve on my essay writing skills and have a better understanding on assignments.

    ReplyDelete
  38. This semester I want to improve on my vocabulary as well as my writting skills I would want to write more than i did last year.

    ReplyDelete
  39. This semester I want to learn in a very creative way. Have an open mind set to others opinions, beliefs etc.

    ReplyDelete
  40. This semester I want to improve on my writing skills.

    ReplyDelete
  41. This semester I would really want to apply myself and improve my reading and writing skills and style. I want to learn things that are actually meaningfull and that I cant use in the future, out of high school.

    ReplyDelete
  42. This semester I want to improve my essay writing because it is something I struggle with.

    ReplyDelete
  43. This semester I want to improve on my writing skills, because that's something that I've always struggle with.

    ReplyDelete
  44. This semester i would like to get better in writing essays and better my vocabulary.

    ReplyDelete
  45. This semester I would like to improve my vocabulary and use of small words to bigger words.

    ReplyDelete
  46. This semester i would like to extend my vocabulary and get better at my writing skills.

    ReplyDelete
  47. This semester i would like to learn more on how to write a good essay/my writing skills.

    ReplyDelete
  48. This semester I would like to to learn new and intersting words so people can think I'm smart. I would also like to better my writing so I won't get told that my formtatting and wording is confusing.

    ReplyDelete
  49. This semester I want to learn how to structure my writing better. I'd also like to extend my vocabulary and make the reader feel something when reading my essay.

    ReplyDelete
  50. This semester I would like more on how to write a good essay.

    ReplyDelete
  51. This semester I want to get better at writing and in the habit of reading again.

    ReplyDelete
  52. In this semester I want to improve in writting and specking because i wanted to help my family

    ReplyDelete

for the win(ter break)

" Why should I do this? He's not even gonna be our teacher next year! " Yeah. And I'm not getting paid to post this on Chr...