1. I Am My Connectome by Sebastian Seung
- Beneath minuscule neurons and synapses are connectomes.
- Connectomes can be changed by experiences and thinking.
- Therefore, we are not 'just' scientific beings.
- The 21st Centure is in constant flux - new technologies changing everything everyday.
- Taught skills & information have a five year life.
- Curiosity must be something focused on at school now.
- Collaboration is also key.. Peer based learning is the future.
- Surfers cited. Minecraft cited.
- Three elements of Cognitive Mind: 1. Discipline 2. Synthesizing 3. Creating
- Plus two more elements: 4. Respect and 5. Ethics
- Ethical mind: obligations, citizenship & responsibility
- Current problem: ethical meltdown in the young generation. Must be changed.
4. Changing the Paradigm by Sir Ken Robinson
- To bring schools into the 21st Century, schooling must be reformed.
- Currently most school systems fit into the old conformist, factory-like system.
- We are in the most stimulating time in the world. Therefore, is it surprising there are more cases of ADHD than ever before?
- Instead of anesthetic, offer aesthetic learning.
- Include collaborative learning.
- Single set of rules + single set of rewards = Works. But, otherwise, rewards destroy creativity and narrow focus.
- Three parts of productivity: 1. Autonomy = self direction, self-scheduled, give time to create, self-direct 2. Mastery = excelling 3. Purpose = service
- Collaboration, technology and less traditional methods of teaching.
- Teacher = Facilitator
All featured educators agree that education in the 21st Century, with the exponential growth of technology has changed and will continue to change. And that, as such, schools must change with it. Schools in the 21st century must emphasize collaboration, creativity and enquiry. Teaching facts and information is no longer a requirement from teachers because students can get facts and information from their devices.
All featured educators also agree that collaboration is a vital part of 21st century school because in order to become productive and enquirers people must work together. This helps with productivity and the creative process.
One educator discusses motivation and discusses how intrinsic motivators are hands down the most effective rewards - not external as we incorrectly assume in business.
My findings absolutely mirror the other findings in readings, videos and case studies in this course.
Can Creativity Be Taught? Forbes Magazine by Mobley
As an instructor, I can easily and happily apply most of Mobley's six insights to help my students because to me they make sense, reflect how I naturally like to teach and learn, and mirror what I see happening in the 21st century.
1. Ask questions: My classroom is enquiry based and I rarely lecture my students. Instead I do my best to guide them and am hoping to get to a place where they are even more self-guided.
2. Unlearn the learning process: This is a more challenging one for me, as I do not want nor do I feel comfortable humiliating and 'pummeling' my students as Mobley describes in the article. Seventh grade students are learning how to behave at school, how to SLANT, pay attention, collaborate and be good citizens so I do not think that is necessarily the right time in their lives to have them 'unlearn'. However, the concepts make sense to me regarding an egotistical adult. I believe that at my student's age, it is less about them unlearning, but instead never getting them into that learned robotic state by teaching them to become curious enquirers.
3. Teaching students to become inquirers: I love this concept and would love to explore it more. My classroom and school is heading in the direction by giving my students greater freedom to explore their own topics within a guided area.
4. Peer interaction: this is an important part of my school and classroom. My students sit in well thought-out groups often by lexile, and collaboration is focused on in every class. When they aren't working in their groups, they might be participating in a socratic seminar (whole class), gallery walk (pairs) and reading with partners.
5. Self-knowledge/Reflection: Reflection is something my school is encouraging teachers to do more and more ourselves as well as with our students. I have observed that self-knowledge/reflection really allows my students to see what they know and what they want to know. This is very empowering for them and fuels that intrinsic motivation. In the future I can integrate it more in my student's Welcome Work (bell work) as this is a good time for them to quietly kick off the class and get into the flow. Or, they can do it at the end of class to help them with their transition out of my classroom into the next.
6. No such thing as WRONG: Personally I am a huge believer in this although it has been challenging to present this to my students because of the traditional A,B,C,D.,F grading system which very clearly sets a right, wrong, good, bad system. However, my school has recently change to the International Baccalaureate grading which is 1-8, 1 meaning hasn't got the concept and 8 that the person is an expert. My students and I are still transitioning into this system instead of just called an 8 an A and a 1 a D, but once we are all used to it I think it is going to be a great way to emphasize to the students the importance of creating and producing.