Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You Are What You Think!

I recently watched this video by Charles Leadbetter. It really got me thinking more about what we are teaching and how we are teaching it. I have had many conversations with people about the power of blogs, wikis, social networks, and Web 2.0 tools. I think this video does a great job of expressing what I am trying to get across. As we talk about building global connections and online collaboration, we are really talking about a shared development of ideas. We need to stop promoting an ownership of ideas mentality. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we know that rarely do our successful ideas develop in isolation. They develop through professional discourse, asking questions, researching others' work, and synthesizing all this information into a new idea. We need our students to do more of this, way more of this.

Instead of writing a research project in isolation, we need to provide opportunities for students to share their research, discuss and adapt their work, and develop new ideas based on their discussions. Instead of worksheets, our students need to think and create. We learn more through creating than we ever do through regurgitating information. The information is out there. We need practice analyzing, organizing, communicating, collaborating.

Share a project you have done recently with your students that focused on these skills. How could you adapt an old project to incorporate these skills in a better way? I'd love to hear what people are doing.

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