Wednesday, December 5, 2012

connie yowell - curiosity

might curiosities always sat at the heart of an extraordinary education....?

how do we create these experiences?
are they not already in life? can't we trust that?

do we have to connect things for kids? or do we have to not disconnect them in the first place?

watch on dml site, and find 5 other videos via dml and nic askew

from amy:

I loved it... until around minute 4. Maybe she isn't meaning like it like this, but it sounds like the usual educational gamification hoopla to me. I know my kids learn a lot through gaming, but...

Those games that are designed specifically for learning certain things are no better than a teacher giving a full-sized candy bar as a prize for accomplishing some task. I'm not saying that because I have a problem with *candy bars* -- I'm saying that it's still for some external reward, and thus unlikely to make a lasting impression on learning. And, the situation was usually put into the context of some goofy contrived frame of reference that a child would never experience in real life. Like (taking her example of fractions), "To get to level two, we need to cooperate and get all eight pieces of the pie! Oh, we only have two pieces, that is one quarter! We still need six pieces, or three quarters!!"

What about cooking in the kitchen, and you can't find the 1/2 cup measure -- so you eyeball it with a third of a cup, or two fourth cups, or whatever -- and your cake or bread comes out dry and crumbly? Then, a person is more inclined to think, "Heck! I better find that half cup measure next time. I think I added too much flour..."

And then, around six minutes, she talks about how we're looking at what kids are doing, separately from content. And she's talking about "designing" the content so it is something they will like. I think that's where it has gone wrong. I think there are plenty of things already out there for kids to like in life outside of school, and they need freedom, and THE ONUS IS ON US AS ADULTS TO BE CREATIVE AND SEE THE WORTH IN WHAT THEY ARE ALREADY DOING, INSTEAD OF TRYING TO SUPERIMPOSE VALUE ON THEIR ACTIVITIES, BY CONTROLLING THE CONTEXT.

A good example is Minecraft. Here's an article Ken sent us last week:
It's a sandbox, much the way life is.
from the article - loving:
Minecraft has become a kind of anarchic massive open online course (MOOC) all on its own, without developing courseware or costly new program licenses. Part of the proliferation is due to user-created video, particularly on YouTube, where a quick search yields 7.5 million mentions.