Friday, March 1, 2013

Big Ideas for Learning

 Sugata Mitra made my Friday. 

Who do I thank? The chemistry teacher who sent a link to an English teacher who then emailed me? Or do I thank Chris Kluwe, a professional foot player who tweeted the link that the chemistry teacher read? Is it even necessary to cite the origin of the thing itself? Well, either way, maybe I've shared the link with somebody new. And I cited my source, thank you very much!
In Mitra's "Build A School in the Cloud," he has several "Big Ideas" that connect directly to my own research and interests. His SOLE=Self-Organized-Learning-Environment resonates with the ETMOOC question I'd like to take up today. He speaks directly to the potential for cloud-based learning for children. That's his passion, and his challenge is inspiring.

My passion is to take the same idea, but connect it to teacher training. I've got to make these Big Ideas and do something local. Will this happen as a result of working with other teachers I know? Maybe. Can I do something as part of a committee who is looking to research online textbooks? Yes. Perhaps the SOLE idea could work for the small network of teachers that I know on my campus. Brick by brick maybe we can build something new.

What struck me about this video was the photos of children teaching one another around his "hole in the wall computers." There was never an image of one student with one computer. Yet, that's very much the way online learning--and teaching--works right now. One teacher. One computer. Alone. 

Don't get me wrong. I love solitude. It's very much a part of who I am to desire long stretches of time alone. But I learn best with other people. I need to teach other people to fully understand what I am trying to work out. I realized I need that "encouragement" that Mitra mentions. His "method of the grandmother" or the person who simply says, "Wow" holds great potential in the way that teachers learn from one another. It's how good ideas become big ideas. 

What digital competencies and skills do your learners demonstrate through their daily use of technology?

The tweet that becomes an email that becomes a blog post that might become the next Big Idea. Who knew? The "daily use" of technology holds great potential. What that means, I'm not sure quite sure, but I'm going to think about it. The next topic for the ETMOOC community sounds really interesting. 

For now, I'll leave you with a play on the word SOLE. Here's a song I can't get out of my head since I first saw this acronym.

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