We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

I am a scatterbrain today.  I am excited about all the the reading I am doing but I can’t pull it all together at this point.

I am exploring three things right now.

1) We don’t know what we don’t know, so how do we direct our own learning?

Photo shared by Helga under a Creative Commons License.

This thinking is a product of my frustration over the last year as I have been learning with my elementary school colleagues.  I was astounded at how much further ahead they were in their learning than I was, and I was impatient to “catch up” with them, but I couldn’t figure our where to turn!  Now that I have developed a more complex schema around learning theory, I am looking for ways to guide my secondary colleagues through this process – of feeling behind and left out but not quite sure how to move forward.

I wonder how often our students feel the same way as we work on gradual release (acceptance?) of responsibility for learning.  We need to ensure that we are sufficiently scaffolding their learning as they work on self-direction.

2) Reluctant learners.

Photo shared by Zen under a Creative Commons License

Every high school has this issue, but our unique geography and culture can lure us into the trap of giving up or lowering expectations.  I don’t think we have worked hard enough on our inquiry into how to reach reluctant learners.

Here is a piece based on Carol Dweck’s work (see yesterday’s posting) about motivation.  I would love to hear how you are engaging reluctant learners.

What I Wish I Had Known about Student Motivation (ASCD blog) http://edge.ascd.org/_What-I-Wish-I-Had-Known-about-Student-Motivation/blog/5869251/127586.html

3) Integrating Technology and Creativity into every classroom.

I am exploring this as we make the leap from aging desktop computers in a sign-out lab, to wifi and BYOD.  We know we have to go there, but it is a big leap and I need to think about how to prepare teachers.  They range from “I would not be caught dead on Facebook” to “Well sure, I could try that” and, “Yes, I already use that app. Do you have another suggestion?”.

How do I prepare teachers in my school to be ready for this huge leap in how we do business?  In particular, how do we work with teachers who currently do not use technology at all in their own lives?

Again, they don’t know what they don’t know.

This is worth a read:

http://tomwhitby.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/why-most-teachers-dont-know-what-they-dont-know/

“Technology is the driving force behind most of the education innovation. It is impacting not only what we can do as educators, but it is also changing how we approach learning. These innovations may have not all reached the education journals yet, but they have been presented and are being discussed digitally and at great length in social media.

A few of the recent topics include: the Flipped Class, eTextbooks, PBL approaches to learning, blended classes, Edcamps for PD, BYOD, Digital classrooms, Tablets, 1:1 laptops, digital collaboration, Social Media, Mobile Learning Devices, Blogging. Some of these topics have made it to the print media, but all are being delved into at length through social media. It is a disadvantage to be a print-media educator in a digital-media world. I can understand how a majority of educators whose very education was steeped in print media is more comfortable with that medium. The technology however, is not holding still to allow educators to dwell in a comfort zone. Just as the technology of the printing press got us beyond the technology of the scrolls (Parchment & Quill), Technology is now taking us beyond print media to digital publications and boundless collaboration.”

Exploring further:

A webinar that I am watching today: Ask Dr. Judy: How to create a learning-receptive emotional state (available on iTunesU through ASCD)

http://www.radteach.com/page49/page49.html

I am also doing some reading on the Finnish education system (isn’t everyone?).

http://anneknock.com/2012/03/07/reflection-on-the-finnish-education-system-more-questions-than-answers-scil/

A source for all things Finland (in education) http://cybraryman.com/finland.html

Finnish Lessons: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland? http://store.tcpress.com/0807752576.shtml

0 thoughts on “We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know”

  1. Beautiful! I appreciated the posts you shared, and was just about to quote a particular phrase in my comment “The technology however, is not holding still to allow educators to dwell in a comfort zone. Just as the technology of the printing press got us beyond the technology of the scrolls (Parchment & Quill), Technology is now taking us beyond print media to digital publications and boundless collaboration.” (Tom Whitby, http://tomwhitby.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/why-most-teachers-dont-know-what-they-dont-know/ ) but then realized you liked the same comment… 🙂 Go figure.
    You’re doing a great job!

  2. Do you think that finding a way for teachers to get past the discomfort factor is worth looking in to? I wonder if there is some way to have PD similar to an ideal classroom environment where teachers are encouraged to play with new technology. Pseudonyms could be used for reluctant ‘learners’ who want to test the waters with Twitter, and a group blog could be created to generate discussion?

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