Kelleigh and I are working together twice a week. She is able to input data into Aims. She updated an IEP for an annual review. She is working with Mobymax and learning all the ea components of the program.
I connected with quite a few people this time around. Many people see the potential of a tacit classroom but not the application. I am looking forward to reading more to find out how they address this conundrum. Reading Andrea’s blog I was reminded the importance of teaching student how to learn. Ginger shared a video about math that was also good to view and anchor my perspective about teaching math show kids understand the concepts and apply them. Math is more than just memorizing.
I shared some sights that showed how the business world values tacit learning. I may become the sought after skill. Let’s see them bottle that up and sell it.
What are the importance of inquiry and questioning in your discipline?
How do/can you nurture student passion in your classroom?
The process of formalizing all knowledge to the exclusion of any tacit knowledge is self-defeating.
To engage students in the mundane is a constant challenge for educators. The plethora of content we teach does not elicit excitement on its own. As a groan of “Not again!” rings out from children as the teacher announces it is time to practice cursive or learn their multiplication facts. However, after the mundane is learned and practiced, using these skills become tacit knowledge and are useful throughout the child’s life. Tacit knowledge continues to grow throughout the child’s experiences while attending school.
To help with the humdrum I use online games to reinforce skills taught instead of just worksheets. Students will work in groups or teams on a website or app in order to practice a new skill. As students work in teams or take turns they share their knowledge and strategies with one another. While reading over the chapter this week I related to the statement about when people engage in the process of asking questions tacit dimension of knowledge tends to be activated. While I observe students interacting a student will answer a question of how did you get that answer with a response of “I just knew it.” They cannot tell you the steps of how they got there. They have the knack for the skill. Students who do not have the skill have to be explicitly taught.
This leads me into a thought about explicit and tacit knowledge. (I am going a little off track here) Most students learn how to read, write, and perform mathematics skills with no problems. They just absorb the teaching and start to apply the academic skill. You ask these students the details of say parts of speech and how a sentence or paragraph go together and they will say I just know. They can’t explain gerund and participles. They just write so it sounds right when they read it. Students who do not get the wonderful benefit of absorbing the teaching have to be taught explicitly. The rules and details of a skill are scaffold carefully when being taught in order for students to learn how to apply them. Students use the rules and steps that were taught in order to apply the academic skills. Just a thought to ponder. What do you think?
One of my goals this year is to is to have students engaged in more discussion about their learning. The Kagan training I took does help with structuring that environment. After reading this chapter and some research, I am more committed to the task. I watched a handful of videos and read a couple of short articles about how tacit knowledge is the new skill sought be employers. This is because explicit knowledge can be easily looked up on the internet or book. Tacit knowledge is internal and someone just knows. These skills are the ones that will stand you apart from another. I have added a couple of the videos I watched.
Capturing Tacit Knowledge
Transferring tacit to explicit
value of tacit knowledge in todays work place
I found the concept of collective learning interesting. I like to learn and work in teams. I am the most productive this way. I also learn the most. I had a handful of people comment on my post who gave me some information about how to incorporate collective learning into my classroom. This was very helpful. My post related to many others about how we are to take the wonderful idea about collective learning and apply it into our daily teaching.
What are your thoughts about “learning in the collective”?
Collective learning is a complex concept that is variously defined. It is generally conceptualized as a dynamic and cumulative process that results in the production of knowledge. Such knowledge is institutionalized in the form of structures, rules, routines, norms, discourse, and strategies that guide future action. Learning emerges because of interactive mechanisms where individual knowledge is shared, disseminated, diffused, and further developed through relational and belonging synergies. Collective learning can therefore be conceived as an evolutionary process of perfecting collective knowledge.
There are many benefits of working in a collective on a personal level. I am not sure I see the full picture of teaching through a collective, similar to a blog, would translate into an elementary classroom. People who join a blog or other types of collectives participate because they have an interest in the subject. Students typically only come to school because that is the law. Left on their own most kids would stay home and play or pursue their own interest. At the elementary level we teach the basics of reading, writing, and mathematics. These subjects are not kids generally find interesting. Thomas and John review the struggles of grading a group project. Do you grade the group as a whole or the individual’s participation in completing the project? From their perspective it is their personal connection with the project that matters. This is all well and fine, but how do you balance personal buy in and individual accountability of students learning the core outcomes of their grade level. We as teachers are accountable for each student learning the content of the grade level taught. Casual participation does not assure kids will have the basic skills needed in order to become a valuable member of the community when they grow up. Structure and accountability are needed in education on all levels. Thomas and John state traditional forms of education structure this new collective way of learning. I am just not seeing the full picture of how it will all work at this time.
There was a lot of thoughtful ideas about play this week. Good reminders about the importance of play and exploration in the classroom. Ginger reminded me when learning a new program to just let the kids play with the program and they will figure out how to use it. I let a group of students explore moviemaker today. They used the sample pictures to make a practice movie. They took to it like fish take to water. It was wonderful. I can now let them have the set of pictures we are using and start the project.
Christine shared that when you have something new in the classroom that may be of great distraction to let the kids play with it. After some play time set the expectations for the item. Other teachers chimed in about how they let kids have a few minutes to play with manipulatives before they begin their lesson. It cuts way down on the distraction of playing instead of paying attention to the lesson.
I shared my perspective of how we have so much change that we need to be discerning about what we use and what we do not use. I review and play with all the programs and learning games to make sure they fit what I am trying to teach. This is a time consuming process which I do not like, but I do like that kids are using technology and it enhances their learning.
What does play have to do with embracing change and how does this impact you as a professional?
I think you can interchange play and explore for this question. Douglas Thomas point about children playing with a new toy and an adult logging onto the Internet both having the same wonder questions made me reflect on all the new programs we have to learn every year. Just this weekend I will explore or play with the updated moviemaker to use with the students. We constantly adapt to new or updated programs, apps, etc.. It is time consuming. I understand what Douglas is saying but it does not always feel like play to me. It is more exploration or something I have to get through in order to start on a project. For example, I want to use the moviemaker program, but I am not looking forward to all the time it will take to learn how to use it well. I am thankful that I will be able to view multiple youtube videos and look up information about it on the internet. Although, I do not miss the day of reading the manual. It seems now days the change is so fast you spend as much time learning as you do using a tool.
In the article William Astore wrote, technology is over used in the classroom. He uses technology only when it enhances the learning environment of the classroom. He cautions not to use technology just to be cutting edge and look good. Today new programs and apps come out daily basis. Our rate of change is so great that we now need to discern about what we choose to use. Over he years I have played around with different ways to include technology into my daily lessons. I use an iPad to allow students to practice math facts, money, and time. Today I use a math tutor program and spelling programs to support and enhance the core programs being taught in my school today. The technology today allows me to individualize instruction. The programs used were reviewed and chosen to support the core programs taught at my school. I have learned to keep it simple and focused.
When I review technology I compare it to my goals for student instruction. Much like the article by Scott Steinberg 5 Reasons Why Digital Learning Matters, I focus on how accessible and efficient the programs or apps perform. The other factor I consider is the ability to personalize the program or app in order to individualize instruction. Technology for use in the classroom has come a long way and enhances the classroom as long as you take the time to “play” with the many options available and keep up with all the updates and filter through the many new alternatives that consistently become available.
Ginger reminded me of the importance of keeping up with research about how children learn. Technology continues to expand and be a great tool for teaching. As great as technology is, without knowledge of how to apply it best to meet children’s ability to learn it is useless or just great entertainment.
I share the some of the same challenges as other teachers. I am working towards creating a classroom full of students ready for the 21st century. However, I am still not quite there. The programs I use are good but feed students the information. Discovery and sharing of ideas is not common. I continue to innovate and add to the programs I teach. I have individualized my math program with the help of technology. Students are now sharing their math thinking.
I took this knowledge and shared ideas with others who are frustrated with having to teach educational programs. I shared ideas of how to take technology and incorporate it into the programs.