School is full of frantic energy as of late. My brain’s certainly moving in every direction at once.
To top that all off, I’ve been keeping up with my feeds fairly fiendishly. This does not do much to calm the multi-directional thinking. One post from Dean Shareski that stuck in my head was actually about another post on Will Richardson’s blog.
Dean picked up on a phrase I’ve noticed Will using a few times since I began reading his blog “pushed me to think.” It’s a phrase, ironically, I hadn’t consciously used before picking it up from Will. The past two years, though, I’ve caught myself using the phrase in discussions with colleagues, when encouraging my students to find a new way around a problem and even when talking to my dad about the craziness intertwined in parenting my little brother.
Now, I’ve been pushing and pushed to think for as long as I can remember, but I cannot think of a time when I was as aware of my thinking, as reflective on my thinking as I am when interacting with texts and video and resources afforded me through web 2.0.
I say this all because I’ll be starting my Master’s work this June. It’s my first real formal return to studenthood since graduating.
This year, I’ve been learning in the manner I want my students to learn – I’ve been exploring, problem solving, information sharing, researching, and discussing. The worry is that entering an atmosphere where my learning is directed by a teacher, where I am not directing my field of inquiry will prove a frustrating task.
I did well in my first 18-year run at studenthood. A game existed in the traditional classroom which I was well-suited to play. I cannot say I learned as much as I should have, but I can definitely attest to succeeding in school. Success and learning were not necessarily closely linked. Success and completion, certainly.
My performance was aligned with expectations and that led to increased opportunities. I was rarely truly engaged, my studies rarely as rigorous as I could handle.
Since then, this past year especially, I’ve been directing my learning in the
direction directions most interesting and important to me. I’ve been creating my own classroom 2.0. I worry that I won’t be able to revert to the earlier version. Imagine running Windows 3.1 after you’ve been working on XP.
Maybe, though, my resistence isn’t toward moving backwards, but to moving to any set structure. The learning I practice online, in Web 2.0 isn’t really XP, it’s open source. Through blogging and podcasting and the like the thoughts of people like David Warlick, Karl Fisch, and Paul Wikinson are open to me. I can pull from them the pieces that most motivate and intrigue me and then add my own pieces while crediting their sources.
I find the patches I need to bring continuity to my thinking and help my pedagogy run more smoothly.
This is the resistance I’ve felt to what is symbolized by the monikers of Web 2.0, School 2.0 and Classroom 2.0. My learning – the learning I want to engender in my students – is learning that is meshed together from what they need and seek and offer up.
The classroom in which I want to learn and teach is one undergoing constant upgrades and bound by no particular version. No proprietary rights exist to its content, but all educators are fairly acknowledged and credited for their contributions.