18 Myths Uncovered About Learning

Daily Create 1717: Get a random blog post title and then write it

In light of number 2, in which we find out a myth is not a myth, for clarity’s sake the list below is a list of things that are true as far as I believe.

1. Having a numbered list in your Ed-Tech article is not mandatory. My list will probably not make it to 18. Or it will in a totally bullshit way.

2. Myth doesn’t even mean myth like you think it does

Folklorists often balk at the common usage of the word “myth” to mean “lie.” A myth, by their disciplinary definition, is quite the opposite. A myth is a culture’s sacred story. It involves supernatural or supreme beings — gods. It explains origins and destinies. A myth is the Truth.  http://hackeducation.com/2013/05/24/disruptive-innovation

3. The more open and shary you are with your learning, the more you will learn. Also, everyone else will learn, be happy, be more confident and live longer.

4. Don’t pigeon-hole yourself by saying you have a learning style, think of them more as preferences. You ain’t going to learn bird calls very well if you’re only a ‘visual’ learner now are ya?

5. Education buzzwords are great because they fizzle out and then we get to make fun of them. Let’s start a new one right now! Listify your learning! Everything should be in a list of at least 18 in order to learn anything! In the end, however, we’re just trying to get learners involved in our learning… is that so much to ask?

6. Seven, eight, nine

10. No one really wants to do group work, but some of the best learning happens in groups, teams,  communities however they form. So take that for what it’s worth.

11. Twelve, thirteen

14. Knowing what cognitive load means is pretty helpful, when you’re teaching.

15. If learning is tied to positive emotions of feeling part of something, it ain’t forgot none time soon. So, like, leverage that, eh.

16. Seventeen

18. We are finally there, number eighteen! Here is the final myth about learning, which means truth: Everything is a learning experience so just dig in and giver shit.

Bye bye.

 

 

Excitement/Abandonment

This post was originally published here, but I am cross-posting it here for maximum blowhardiness.

I am currently reading, as a little bit of professional learning, The Monsters of Educational Technology, by Audrey Watters. I’m convinced you couldn’t find a better person to have a critical eye on your field than her.

Her analysis of the history, present and future of Ed-Tech in this book and on her blog  reveals cycles of excitement and abandonment of ideas for using technology in education. Over and over. History repeating itself. Over and over. It’s very easy to get excited about new technology. It’s harder to figure out how to use it to the best of its potential for helping us teach and learn.

What’s better? Someone using PowerPoint 2007 to create a beautiful visual complement of slides for a passionate talk, or using brand new Virtual Reality goggles to ‘explore’ a scene that you could reasonably go and actually explore in real life? I’m not saying VR does not have exciting potential, but it should be used for what it could be best for: immersion into scenarios in which you could not actually be immersed IRL. Like say the past, or the inside of a circulatory system, or floating above a city. Not some environment to which you can actually go. Just like PowerPoint should be used what it is best for: creating slides that are a visualcomplement to an exciting talk, not as the whole lecture itself. Cutting-edge is not better than trailing-edge unless you are using it meaningfully.

Does anybody remember trying to move the little turtle around the screen in elementary school? This was the The LOGO programming language for children

logo_turtle
Image Source

Forty years ago, researchers developed a programming language that would become a brilliant educational tool.

Maybe it was a brilliant educational tool. I wouldn’t know because the way it was used in my school, as far as I can recall, was a few times over a couple of months. I got mildly excited when I first made the turtle create a square. But really I didn’t know why we needed to make it make a square. It just disappeared from our computer activities when the shine wore off. Perhaps if they stuck to it a little longer, I could have experienced the real brilliance of it. They were excited to get us coding… for a little while and then it went away. Ultimately it’s my own fault to not yet have the skills I wish I had. I just wish now that they went a little further with it.

I’m guessing you can recall hearing reports or seeing articles in your recent past about the need to teach our children coding and programming. Ads for coding bootcamps for kids maybe? History Image result for symbol for repeat. I do think it’s a great idea. I hope we can stick to it a little longer this time.

I don’t want to say that I think it would have been better if they never gave us the LOGO opportunity at all. I think of that little turtle fondly. I just wish I had the chance to get to know it better. What I’m trying to say is this: take the time to think about how you can meaningfully use the new technology that you are excited about before you begin working with it. And if you decide to use it, keep pushing through a little more once the excitement fades. Revise and re-implement and only abandon when you truly have found something else that works better, not just another new shiny thing.

Terry