Getting Real

This week’s post has taken a lot of time and thought. It has challenged me and upset me. It has sparked dinner conversations with my (non-educator) partner and visiting relatives. It has sent me into the internet vortex of blog posts, articles and Twitter chats. It has even made me reach out to a mentor. It has also given me a lot to think about upon my return to school next week.

A case for consumption

Okay, here’s the part that might rub people the wrong way; I don’t find anything really wrong with consuming. Obviously, I don’t think it should be the only thing we do, but honestly, I don’t think it’s all that bad. After all, isn’t reading a book considered a form of consumption? What about listening to an inspiring podcast? How about watching a theatre performance? Aren’t these all examples of consuming? Is this the part where we get to debate what forms of consumption are more valuable? And to whom?

To me, consumption is an integral part of the learning cycle as far as online activities go. It allows for exploration of ideas, information and resources. It helps you collect different perspectives. It affirms and challenges your beliefs. It introduces you to new concepts and people. It compels you to feel and think. Essentially, it is (and has been) the foundation of learning, at least to some degree.

Creating & Curating

Now before I start a riot, let me clear the air and say that I am absolutely a proponent of people doing something with all that stuff they’ve consumed. A big part of my role as a tech coach has been to empower students to demonstrate their learning in different ways. But that’s not to say that everything people create is inherently valuable. I think we can all agree that a lot of what’s online isn’t all that great, even though someone created it. So, for me the question is less about how much people (myself included) are consuming or creating and more about how that balance is achieved to add value.

One of my mentors and Cognita colleagues, Craig Kemp has a lot of insight to offer on this particular topic, so naturally, I scoured his blog and Twitter feed to dig a bit deeper this week. One of the Twitter chats that he facilitates is #whatisschool and in November of last year, this was the topic of discussion. Educators weighed in from all over to share their 2 cents and recommend a myriad of apps that help move us towards active creation and away from passive consumption. If you’ve got time, have a gander.

Getting real about it all

So there you have it, the ramblings of a scatter-brained, media consuming but ultimately creative educator who is struggling with finding the balance in her screen time and continue being evaluative of her creations. I don’t have it all together and I have conflicting opinions, but I’m real. And in my realness, I want to share my struggle with the students and teachers I work with daily in hopes that it will lead to a deeper understanding and connection with others… which brings me back around to the dilemma I mentioned in an earlier post where I talked about my desire to delete my Facebook account. Maybe this week’s assignment was just the push I needed to do it. But first, one last status update:)

4 Replies to “Getting Real”

  1. Very valid points Reyna. Powerful learning takes both consumption of content and generation of ideas , thoughts and critical analysis to make sense of the concepts. Regardless if it’s through technology or through more traditional modes . John West- Burnham talks about deep learning from knowledge to understanding through to wisdom. Sometimes it not always creating but implementing or applying that is powerful.
    Love the debate and provocation.

    1. Thanks for the comments and feedback, Lester. I like that you highlight it’s not always ‘creation’ in the traditional sense, but sometimes in the adjustments, enhancements and improvements that we can make once we’ve invested the time and effort to critically consume… I think that’s such a powerful take on this topic! Also, thanks for taking the time to read so it doesn’t feel like my thoughts are just in a vacuum here on the interwebs:)

  2. Heya Reyna,

    I think that both consuming and creating are the singular and unified goal from the reading. I think from what I’ve read that we shouldn’t just stop at consuming. We should consume and contribute to the conversation. 🙂

  3. Curating and create… easy to say but hard to understand sometimes by students and teachers. As librarian, these are key concepts present on any research process. Learning to curate information is a skill that students shall develop to select what their really need. Libguides is a very popular platform to curate, share and collaborate with librarians around the world. I ‘m using it for the IB Diploma students and teachers, curating quality online and printed resources . It’s amazing!
    About creation, I think it’s one of the long term goals and challenges for learners. Most of them are immersed in a copy-paste culture . Lots of collaboration between teachers and librarians is required to change it. But , only the support of the administration against plagiarism, it will lead our students to experience research and they will be able to create … as a result of their reflections.

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