“Since many of the places we now look for information do not carry the institutional warrants that have traditionally been used as markers for accuracy or truth, learning to navigate through and evaluate them-an expanded notion of literacy is now critically important. We need to learn to read in a whole new way.” (p. 96)
The ability to use online tools and resources does require a different set of skills than reading and writing. One must develop a type of literacy that allows them to analyze information, look for truth, and interpret results.
How can I develop math lessons that allow students to make and play, while avoiding the popular, cheesy word problems…”Dear citizen, You have been selected by the president of the U.S. to solve…”?
My 20% project has really allowed me to learn through play. I now know some insider tips to creating centerpieces, information that I have gained from online resources, but I have also acquired original knowledge through my own experimentation.
I liked what the authors had to say about riddles. They explained that once a riddle has been solved, the solution provides more than an answer. It allows the individual to make sense of every piece of information that led to the solution. I want to be able to create math activities built in this way, so that students see more value in their solutions.
Geeking out “includes the ways in which the social functions of hanging out and the exploratory functions of messing around can be harnessed and compounded, through collaboration, to produce specialized knowledge networks and Internet-based communities and organizations.” (p. 104)
In each phase, the user develops skills, which are then expanded upon in the next phase. By the time the user is “geeking out”, they can participate in online learning communities socially, through exploration, and also focusing their interests in order to collaborate with others.
Can I use these same labels in my class (hanging out, messing around, and geeking out) to describe student progress toward learning goals?
I have been using Pinterest, Twitter, Weebly, Instagram, and Google+ to cultivate my PLN. In terms of using these tools as a professional, I was “hanging out” at the beginning of the semester. Now, I can say that I am “messing around” and moving towards “geeking out”. I feel more comfortable with these forms of social media and how they can be used to develop my professional online presence.
Geeking out is where the rich learning experience occurs. Once the user has become accustomed to the tools and has in a sense, found their niche, they can utilize the tools and resources to their fullest potential and learn from being a member of collectives.
“To advance, players experiment within the game and draw from external information sources to construct a very sophisticated learning environment.” (p. 108)
This chapter explored the connections between MMOs and the new culture of learning. The authors argue that there is more to MMOs than simply gaming and there is much to be learned from them. As any game, MMOs allow players to experiment and they use other players as resources for information critical to the game.
If students become so accustomed to a learning environment similar to an MMO, where they look to others for answers, will they be as successful in an environment where the answers are not as easy to find?
I have experienced the new culture of learning through my experience cultivating my PLN as well as working on my 20% project. I have learned to be a member of the “petri dish” and seek out answers through experimenting.
In an MMO, each member must participate and fulfill their personal role in order for their group to succeed. I want students in my classroom to feel as if their participation is critical to their group’s success, because it is.