This week, a key point that stuck out for me was from our week 4 readings: “Software developers are generally driven more by the game and play market than by the learning potential of their products” (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000). As an administrator, sifting through the multitude of sales pitches, glossy magazines, and brochures, this quote will echo everytime I consider adding a new technology to our school. SHouldn’t learning be the first priority of an educational product?
When considering this contrasted to a refreshing looking at balanced learning environments ( Bransford, Brown, & Cocking Ch. 6) we see a potential What shocked me most about reading this was that I was too focused on a learner centered environment, especially with new programs that my school board is implementing. The idea of consider a balance (learner, knowledge, assessment, and community) is exciting. Finding that perfect zone, like a perfect wave, is reachable and exciting to consider.
Considering inquiry, each of these four environments can be considered when designing inquiry based activities. For example, having a hook (engagement-student centered), deepening understanding (knowledge) and creating a sense of wonderment, checking in regularly (formative assessment), and sharing their findings with the group or greater community (community environment).
Looking to implementing this in my future practice, I want to remember to integrate this into adult learning situations too. For example, our district currently has 10 PD days that are school based. Too often, I find myself thinking that I have an activity for teachers and based on them being adults, they can just “handle” it. After reflecting on these readings, I want to design activities that can integrate, more greatly, the four learning environments, not only for the intial learning experience but for the chance that teachers will then model it (four learning environments) in their own classrooms.
Bransford, J., Brown, A. & Cocking, R. (2000). Technology to support learning. How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.