Archive for the ‘learning’ Tag

Did you invent Knowledge Quest?

Did you invent Knowledge Quest?
Did you make up Knowledge Quest?
How did you make Knowledge Quest?

I’m just back from two weeks in Victoria where I visited several schools using Knowledge Quest.

In every class I visited, 13 year olds peppered me with questions about Knowledge Quest and my capacity for creativity and innovation.

Regrettably I had to answer these questions with ‘no, I didn’t invent Knowledge Quest, but I wish I did’.

It is always a good sign when students ask these sorts of questions.

In an industrial economy, there was little scope to ask questions. Compliant workers in factories had a set of procedures to follow. Schools were established so that compliant workers could be churned out to work in factories.

No need to ask questions, just do what you’re told to do.

The rapid changes of today’s economy require a new worker. Today it is important to ask questions, take some risks, have the capacity to solve problems and create new ideas. This presents a cultural shift in the way we live and work in the 21st century.

Knowledge Quest symbolises a cultural shift. As a learning resource, it draws on elements of gaming in popular culture which are combined with new ways of learning in the 21st century. It gives students a new way of learning grammar.

No questions here about engagement from the students I met – they like this way of learning.

But these 13 year olds also peppered me with questions about features they would like to see in the next version of Knowledge Quest. No shortage of ideas here.

At this point, I opened my notebook and jotted down their ideas to pass on to some of my colleagues at Jacaranda.

These 13 year old inventors had many ideas to share.

Knowledge Quest

Knowledge Quest – video

Another brick in the (classroom) wall?

Pink Floyd - The Wall

I started my career in the late 1980’s as a Media Studies teacher in Queensland.

One of the Year 12 assessment tasks back then involved students producing a documentary about their school. In doing so, students were required to use different film techniques to create a biased interpretation of their school. They had to choose one of the following scenarios:

  • Scenario 1 – portray the school as a holiday camp, or,
  • Scenario 2 – portray the school as a prison.

Most students chose the ‘prison’ option. They produced a powerful montage of images – camera shots of classroom taken through bars and fences to portray imprisonment, low angles of teachers to make them appear menacing, images showing rows of desks inhabited by bored students, edited interviews of students lamenting about their existence at school.

And most students chose Pink Floyd’s 1980’s hit Another Brick in the Wall as the music soundtrack. By the end of this task, I was well and truly over the students in the song chanting ‘we don’t need an education‘!

What fascinated me most was the reason why students chose the prison option. So one day I ask them why.

They said that they enrolled in the Media Studies course because:

  • They wanted to learn in ways other than the ‘pen and paper’ learning that occurred in traditional subjects
  • They were not tied to rows of desks (as portrayed in the documentaries they produced).

What these students were really saying was ‘we do need an education‘ – but they want to learn in a ways that are different to traditional schooling.

In the 2012, we have more technological tools that appeal to how our students learn best.

What will your students say about learning in your class in 2012?

Will they be another brick in the wall?

Or will you break down the classroom walls?

Twitter is serious learning

Twitter can’t be serious!

When first hearing about twitter a few years ago, I could not comprehend how anyone could seriously think that anything meaningful could be said in 140 characters or less.  I mean, I have already used up 162 characters in my second sentence and what have I said?

My hasty judgement was totally unfounded.  Twelve months ago I was converted. My epiphany is that it is the links to others not the 140 characters that is the power of twitter.

Now as a serious convert (perhaps addict?), I check my twitter account every day without fail for my daily fix of professional learning.

Kay Cantwell from Brisbane Catholic Education has written a great article titled Social media and schools as professional learning communities. There some great tips here as to how you can get started with using twitter and other forms of social media to create your own professional learning network.

Seriously, some of the best professional learning is happening on twitter.
The Twitter Life Cucle

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