Occasional Thoughts on Educational Technology and Life by Judy Brophy

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Learning Adventure

I bumped into a listing of 7 new tools for creating music online recently. I am no musician and don’t teach or create music, but the tools tempted me. What fun it would be to try out some of those tools and see what I could create.  

Why don’t we do more exploring into areas that we don’t know?
As a technology facilitator to faculty I have noticed that most people, teachers and student, (and I include myself here) want to go only where they have gone before, perfect something rather than try something entirely new.  When was the last time you tried something entirely new?

I can hear the arguments in my own head
    -  Well, it wouldn’t be any good.
    -  It wouldn’t be professional looking    
    -  It would be too difficult
    -  All I would learn is that I can’t do it... AND I'd feel stupid!

But I would be missing something. I would be missing the adventure and the joy of figuring out a puzzle with only our wits, and the combined wisdom of the group to help us. I might not learn to create a passable piece of music using the new tools, but I might learn:
    -   How to attack a problem I haven’t seen before
    -   How others do it (and could I do that?)
    -  Where the edge of my comfort zone is for not knowing what I’m  doing

When confronted with something new, what is your preferred way to learn? Ask a friend, find a book, google it?

When was the last time you and your class had a learning adventure? An activity which you didn’t know how it would turn out? That had not been carefully planned and constructed and all the possible hard spots and bumps removed? When did you learn something together?

I think I’ll try some of those tools.

Photo Credit: Ran Yaniv Hartstein via Compfight cc

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