This week our COETAIL course directs our attention to three readings to digest and reflect upon.
Reading #1: [New] Bloom’s Taxonomy Digitally by Andrew Churches (Tech & Learning)
Bloom’s Taxonomy is nothing new. What I particularly like about the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy and it’s direct impact upon my own teaching practise is the way learning can be scaffolded depending on the learning taking place. Bloom’s taxonomy encourages us to take students thinking steps further by beginning with lower order thinking skills (LOTS) and naturally progressing to higher order thinking skills (HOTS). When planning tasks, I try to include more HOTS than LOTS to encourage students to go beyond the recall and regurgitate phase and into the internalise and construct new meaning/knowledge phase. The simple suggestion of verbs in the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy helps me to include learning tasks that will help develop a variety of levels of thinking from my students.
What is of particular interest to me in Andrew Churches’ article New Bloom’s Taxonomy Digitally is the authentic incorporation of digital tools on offer – how to do it or how to use them in in such a way that is rigorous, challenging and of sound pedagogical foundation. Andrew has given the 21st Century Educator ways to incorporate skills in for today’s learners in a digital world. New web 2.0 tools are changing the way we receive, process, and produce information. As educators we need to authentically and realistically include those tools/skills in our toolbox for learning if we are to fully embrace the direction that 21st Century Digital Literacies are progressing. Andrew Churches has produced a wiki, Educational Origami jam-packed with resources, explanations, sound justifications and information on Bloom’s Taxonomy. He further details the 21st Century Educator and the skills needed to be that kind of educator in a world where our students jobs in the future don’t even exist yet. Having just content-driven curricula is no longer good enough for our learners of today for employment of the future.
Reading #2 Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age by George Siemens
My favourite quotes from this article:
Over the last twenty years, technology has reorganized how we live, how we communicate, and how we learn.
Wondering …… why is it so difficult to encourage a change in the way we teach?
Within social networks, hubs are well-connected people who are able to foster and maintain knowledge flow.
Wondering ……. are we teaching our students to be well-connected? Remember Clarence’s skype call? Does our own pedagogy support this foundation idea of connectivism?
The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe. Our ability to learn what we need for tomorrow is more important than what we know today.
Wondering ……. plus the ability to unlearn and relearn …….. it is no longer necessary for the teacher to be the font of all knowledge. Does my teaching practise reflect this? Is our learning environment set up in such a way that fosters the development of learning for tomorrow? Could our students flourish in a digital era?
Reading #3 Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth ProjectMacArthur Foundation Report)
Wow, this was pretty slow reading …… and then she realised only pgs 20-28 (the “Messing Around” bit) needed to be read. Darn it! Note to self – read instructions carefully!
The most important factors are the availability of technical resources and a context that allows for a degree of freedom and autonomy for self-directed learning and exploration. In contrast to learning that is oriented toward a set, predefined goal, messing around is largely self-directed, and the outcomes of the activity emerge through exploration.
I particularly enjoyed Cindy’s post about her thoughts on this article. She summed her whole mind-shift with an apology to her kids for continually giving them a hard time about “wasting time on the computer”. When I ask my students to self-reflect on their learning, the best part is often the ten or so minutes given to “mess around” with a new tool/programme.
I can think of no other more powerful learning time when students “mess around” and then share with each other what they have discovered. I’ve seen students who don’t normally “shine”, smile from ear to ear when their peers say to them – “wow, that’s cool – I didn’t know that!”
Does it boil down to control? How much control can you give over to your students?
Can you say – I’m not the expert – and that’s ok – let’s learn from one another. Are you ready to teach that way? Are you prepared to give that degree of freedom and autonomy for self-directed learning and exploration?
That’s not to say, that we as educators can take a back seat and let the students do ALL the driving. A warrant of fitness or a registration is still our responsibility as educators as is the responsibility to provide the real, rich and authentic learning environment for the “messing around” to take place in.