#IMMOOC Week 1

What do you see as the purpose of education? Why might innovation be crucial in education?

The purpose of education is to acquire knowledge and skills, make connections, and apply that knowledge to new situations.

A typical route to learning has been to take classes in subjects where the content is predetermined and the instructor’s goal is the transfer of information. What one does with the knowledge gained from there can vary from life changing to something that is done to check off a necessary box. There seems to be a huge elephant in the room when talking about education like this; no one should have to subject themselves to an education that doesn’t inspire something more meaningful, right? Sometimes though, we are not inspired to learn or do something that may help us in the long run and we really just need someone telling us what to do! This is a struggle I have a lot when teaching math. At the early levels, math is skills based without many authentic real world applications in a meaningful way until upper level classes like Calculus, Statistics, Linear Algebra, etc. but you have to start somewhere and most people don’t have the motivation to read through a math textbook, regardless of necessity.

The other route that education is heading is self-directed, curiosity inspired, real-world learning. With access to the internet, one could almost literally learn anything they wanted with thousands of sources and connect with experts near and far. This path can be more challenging as it requires curiosity, motivation, persistence, problem solving, you name it, but can ultimately be more rewarding. To grow learners like this would set our world up with a population of potentially self-sufficient individuals.

As a teacher, it is imperative that we expose our students to new ideas, concepts, and skills that they might not seek out on their own as well as give them the freedom to explore their academic interests. Innovation is certainly needed in this blended style of learning because it is a new way of approaching education. As teachers switch from being the educator to coach, there needs to be some reshaping of the traditional classroom.

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9 thoughts on “#IMMOOC Week 1

  1. You really have me thinking about how being curious is a challenge. It has changed my outlook a little because I’m used to dealing with younger kids and when I read your post I was like, oh yeah, kids go to school past 6th grade. I’d imagine it could be difficult for high school teachers to re teach their 15, 16, 17, and 18 year olds to be curious like they once were in kindergarten. It can be a challenge. I wonder if having high school students do passion projects would at first be challenging for them but in the long run help with other bigger issues that high schoolers tend to have like apathy.

    Thanks for making me think beyond my k-6 world!

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    • Glad to get your brain working! I am a little envious of the earnestness of elementary students. While many HS students still have that sense of wonder, many just want to get back to Snapchat and more mindless endeavors. Those that are still curious though can lack the motivation it takes to pull off something like a passion project. I teach statistics and give students a pretty wide berth on research projects – we even design board games during the probability unit and I let them use the laser cutter, 3-D printers, and plotters to create their boards and pieces, but most of the time they just want to know if they can leave early! GAHHH

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      • Now, I’m want to be in your statistics class! What I remember about my first statistics (college) is that we could bring ONE index card with whatever we want on it to each test. (oh and that it was at the same time as General Hospital” (substitute Snap chat, … guess what I wanted to get back too). But interestingly enough I was good at it and get away with going through the chapters on my own and show up for the test with my index card filled with formulas and Ace the class. I know that if my teachers had engaged me with laser cutters and creating board games, I would have missed Luke and Laura’s romance for sure!

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  2. I like your comment about the switch from being educator to coach. As I watched the ‘Classrooms of the Future’ videos a few weeks ago, it got me thinking about the role of the teacher in the classroom. As you mentioned, “With access to the internet, one could almost literally learn anything they wanted with thousands of sources and connect with experts near and far.” I think this will be the way of learning in the future. Teachers will be coaches who will help guide and inspire students so they can make connections to change the world!

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  3. By the way, I love your WordPress blog. I’ve been using Blogger and have not been impressed. I am going to look into switching to WordPress, especially if this blogging stuff sticks.

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  4. This is one that I wonder about to… How might we we expose our students to new ideas, concepts, and skills that they might not seek out on their own as well as give them the freedom to explore their academic interests?

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  5. I love when you talked about the big elephant in the room. You are so right, “no one should have to subject themselves to an education that doesn’t inspire something more meaningful”. This stood out to me because I could relate to this so much. I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to study and I finally chose something that inspired me to make a difference! Great post.

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