Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Re-Imagine Education and Learning Communities

"The map is not the territoryAlfred Korzybski

Or is it?

Yesterday a student let it slip that the epigraph in The Great Gatsby was made up.
I had remembered learning that once and asked him where he heard it.

He mumbled,  "The internet... might have been Crash Course." I had never heard of Crash Course or John Green but after watching a couple Crash Courses in class, I woke up this morning and started googling Crash Course which led to John Green's TED Talk.

Now our internet policy prohibits the use of Sparknotes and other virtual Cliff Notes - and the wicked Wikipedia.

We want students to read and focus on the primary text without the help of study aids.

Here's the rub: intellectual curiosity...

We Google everything. Have a question - Google it!

Can I blame a student for being curious and then sharing what he's learned on the internets?

(Yes, the internets is intentional - it's a joke - an allusion...)

The point is that there are no walls to the classroom - no end to education.

And no longer is the teacher the master... of all knowledge - the gatekeeper, the authority.

In learning, the more we learn, the more we learn the less we know (or something like that - who said that?)

Borrowing from John Green, we are curious cartographers - and like explorers, we traverse the world wide web.

John Green, thank you. I am free from delivering the same lecturing three times to my three sections - I can grade their writing and have more time to meet to discuss their writing. Your lectures trump mine: they are visual, they are funny, they are passionate, they are engaging - and they are accessible 24/7 if a student misses a class... like many did today with sports physicals.

If you missed class, watch the following:

Learn more about John Green in this enlightening and provocative TED talk.

Emily Dickinson's "There's a Certain Slant of Light"

Ze Frank The Show was funded on Kickstart

John Green's Crash Course Playlist on Youtube
I Recommend:

For More Knowledge and Learning Communities:

Vi Hart - fun with math, seriously.
Smarter Everyday
Minute Physics

So Is YouTube Making Us Smarter? Check out: Idea Channel | PBS

And before you think you don't need school or college, remember it's about a community - where learners discuss ideas over lunch and dinner and yes, even breakfast at boarding school, plus in the libraries, in the dorms, and yes, on the buses to away games. And if you don't think college is worth the investment, watch this:

Think about your role in our community at WRA. What do you share with our community?
Who do you follow? How do you spend your free-time?
Are you intellectually curious - and not afraid to share that passion for learning?

No comments:

Post a Comment