…how do we know what is real? Moving on to the article on Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age (2004) what really stood out to me was how Siemens discusses the new chaotic manner in which learning now occurs.
Including technology and connection making as learning activities begins to move learning theories into a digital age. We can no longer personally experience and acquire learning that we need to act.
With the abundance of information people can recieve through technology these days, learning obviously is no longer linear. Kids will continue to pick up information independently through their own online experiences and their peers. If we can go and find answers to any question we want by just typing it into a search bar, then the goals and purpose behind teaching have probably also shifted. We no longer only have a responsiblity to teach content and concepts but also to teach our students to really analyze the information they recieve. Yes, the internet offers a wealth of information, but if we don’t teach kids to look at it with a critical eye, we could be going down a pretty dangerous path.
Before the Christmas holidays I used an augmented reality app called Santa Spy Cam to make elves appear in our classroom.
The kids loved it and I was pretty pleased with myself for using technology to create a little magic for the children in the spirit of Christmas! However, when I showed it to my fiance, he asked me a question I did not expect, “did you ever think about what you’re teaching the kids about reality?” He went on to talk about how using apps involving augmented reality could possibly be teaching our children that when what’s in front of them isn’t good enough for their liking, they can just find an app to change it to the reality they want! I of course had never really thought about it from that perspective before and I still think that Christmas should be made special for kids while they still believe in the magic of Santa. I did however, reflect more on the importance of ensuring children know how to think critically about the information they recieve and not simply believe everything they see or read.
I attended a conference where Alan November was one of the keynote speakers and during one of his talks he discussed the importance of showing students bogus websites and information so that they can begin to learn how to filter through their own indpendent learning. We used to have more control over the information children were exposed to, however, this isn’t really the case any longer. So, as teachers it really is our role to teach children about not only doing research, but analyzing their research and making sure their sources are reliable! The fact is, anyone can post anything on the internet these days.
Here is an example that Alan showed us of a bogus website you could possibly use in your classroom.