Chapter 4: Learning In The Collective
Quote: "In communities, people learn in order to belong. In a collective, people belong in order to learn. Communities derive their strength from creating a sense of belonging, while collectives derive theirs from participation." (Location 618) This quote was very helpful for me in understanding the definition of a collective. The concepts of the collective makes sense to me, and seems like the concept that schools should move forward to establish. It's time to decentralize the learning in schools, and capitalize on learning in a collective where the participation of the group leads to learning that is greater than the sum of all of its separate parts.
Question: A question I have is how to go about leading change for schools to be able to reshape and reorganize to become collectives. It seems it will require a radical shift in thinking and mindset on behalf of many groups of stakeholders: school administrators, teachers, parents, community members, and politicians, just to name a few. But it is important enough to explore the answers.
Connection: The focus on the collective in chapter 4 connected seamlessly with the philosophies emerging from me as I participate in EDL630. This course is leading me to explore education and learning in refreshing ways that make sense in the world we live in right now. Honestly, I am looking at education and the experience I can help provide for my students in a very different way these days. The collective is an experience I would like for them to have.
Epiphany: Just like the old adage of giving a man a fish vs. teaching a man to fish, the creation of a collectives can help students know how to learn and keep learning for a lifetime. The collective experience doesn't end because a class ends. The collective offers spaces for learning that remain interesting and relevant- fluid and strong- for as long as they are helpful. The collective offers a way of personalized learning.
Chapter 5: The Personal With the Collective
Quote: "It (the collective) intensifies and heightens the process of learning by continuously relating it back to the personal." (Location 859) This quote reminds me of the importance of learning being personal. That is the only way for real learning to really happen. Learners allow their curiosity to lead them into learning, and they filter information, deciding what personally makes meaning and connection for them. It's personal, and it is the only path to authentic, deep learning.
Question: I still have the same question of how we reshape our school system- our classrooms, to be collectives.
Connection: I connected with the entire section in this chapter on blogging. It was a fascinating explanation of how the blog transformed authorship over time, recognizing the input and participation of others as a major part of the process. It was interesting to read about how the emergence of people with expertise from the collective has made it so that brand names aren't enough anymore for people or institutions, to establish credibility. The expertise and credibility is spread more evenly over the entire collective, allowing unknown people to rise to the top and be recognized as having voices and useful knowledge to add to the collective.
Epiphany: Honestly no giant epiphany for this chapter- just a whole lot that makes sense to me. I found the jazz metaphor the new culture of learning to be very interesting and helpful: "intimate, improvisational, and individual- but also inherently collective." (Location 847)
Chapter 6: We Know More Than We Can Say
Quote: "The twenty-first century, however, belongs to the tacit. In the digital world, we learn by doing, watching and experiencing." (Location 989) Learning by "absorption and making tacit connections" is the way we do it in 2014.
Question: How can I bring a more tacit dimension to the experience of my English classes?
Connection: My experience with our 20% project is a tacit one. Yes, I am doing some reading to learn, but I am mostly experiencing my learning, and am spurred on by my curiosity and sense of play. People can tell me how to pop up on a surfboard or how to look at a wave and determine if it is surfable, but I really only learn it by experiencing it. This model of learning has been powerful for me, and has me constantly thinking of how I can bring a more tacit dimension to my teaching of reading and writing.
Epiphany: Because the world is constantly changing, and at a very rapid pace, it doesn't make sense to focus only on explicit information anymore in educating our students. Amassing tacit knowledge as we move through the various modes and dimensions in our lives is a much more realistic method of learning than the expectation that learning only takes place in formal, specific places and times.