Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Autonomous Discovery of Google Kids

In his recently published book, From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom, Marc Prensky wrote, "It is critical, though, to understand that because the locus of “knowledge” has, in the 21st century, moved to a great extent from the teacher to the Internet, and because the personal passions of our 21st century students have become the kids’ best (and often their only) motivation to learn, our teachers’ job—in fact their very raison’d’ĂȘtre—is going through enormous change." I recently saw this play out first-hand in my nine-year-old son.

It started with this:

And then this (which is a tutorial produced by another elementary school kid far from Wisconsin):

And before I knew it, he was proudly standing over this:

Aside from being a great example of how different types of media work harmoniously, it also illustrates a couple of stronger points: Google kids autonomously learn. They know that they have immediate access to resources that can amplify and extend their learning. They are more independent and self-paced as they learn.

Here, my son was not coerced, lectured, drilled, or measured. We was excited and interest-driven, while utilizing global resources to complete a hands-on, technology amplified project-all without a single word of encouragement or persuasion from an adult. He's a Google kid.

Post blog reflection:
How can we capture this? How can kids thrive in a different environment? How can we translate the attributes of this scenario into powerful student understanding of complex concepts? How can we embrace, funnel, and leverage self-guided discovery in a technology-amplified classroom?

Monday, April 2, 2012

For Goodness' Sake

When is the last time you've knelt-down to tie the shoe of a 5-year-old? When is the last time you cared enough to remember someone's birthday? Do you have the presence of mind to listen instead of making excuses when someone is expressing concern? Can you set aside your own needs and wants in seeking the greatest good for someone or something else? Can you extend yourself for others purely because it's the right thing to do and without the expectation of personal benefit?

Are we willing to trade in our problems for our possibilities? Are we willing to lift what is low, to unite what lies apart, to advance what is left behind? Is it time to have a conversation that we have not had before? 

Thank you to Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) for posting this.