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Posts Tagged ‘real

As I strive to be a lead learner, I have to be reminded and learn about learning. Real learning.

Real learning creates discomfort. Sometimes it can even be painful.

Real learning takes effort on the part of the learner — effort that is focused, concerted, and practiced.

Real learning results in changes to what we know, believe, and do.

Real learning rarely, if ever, results from tests. Yet tests are the standard on which alternatives are compared.

How did we get to test-based “learning”? Real learning is difficult to do and measure. Tests are easy by comparison. We take the easy way out. In the process we learn about who we are and what we value.

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There is a common phrase that thought leaders in education often use: Schools are disconnected with the real world.

They do not mean this literally, of course. They are referring to the bubble that schools create and operate in. For example, one only need look at math word problems, high stakes tests that you cannot retake quickly, and the general teach just-in-case approach.

Schools are part of the real world in the sense that students and teachers face real issues and problems. There is bullying, adjusting to change, learning on the run, dealing with difficult people, keeping to deadlines, following instructions you do not understand or believe in, etc. Now consider what the students face!

However, schools might not be as connected to the wider world as they could be. One need only think of mobile phone restrictions or outright bans as punitive measures for controlling human behaviour.

Today the phone is a key communication and connection tool, but some schools demand it be left out of the tool kit. As a result, both teachers and students do not learn how to use it effectively and responsibly for teaching and learning.

The adults and kids have already adopted behaviours about mobile phone use from home, their ride to school, the mall, and everywhere else but school. These behaviours are not what the school needs. For example, schools do not need people looking down at their phones while they walk, sending hateful texts, and using resources irresponsibly. The realms outside school — the real world — do not teach rationales and counter-behaviours.

So in that sense schools should not be part of the real world because it has to shape a better world. In order to do so, schools have to be better connected to the wider world so that they can problem-seek and problem-solve. They can start by officially welcoming mobile phones.

To make a better world, both teachers and students need to negotiate new behaviours with their phones in school. Schools might start with some questions. How might schools:

  • connect with the wider world with these devices?
  • leverage on phones to create a better world by communicating, sharing, and critiquing?
  • help students find things out by themselves?
  • help students find themselves?
  • help students help others?

Until I read Gizmodo’s article on synthetic cuteness, I had never heard of the Japanese group AKB48 or one of their members, Eguchi Aimi.

Video source 

Make that one of their artificially synthesized members, as the video embedded above illustrates.

From the article:

And while the Eguchi Aimi phenomenon may be just anecdotical, the fact that a synthetic creation has been able to make their fans to have crushes and feelings without them never realizing she was a figment of someone’s imagination, a digital mutant mix, is not a simple anecdote. That’s very real. When people perceive such a being as real, and that being causes an emotive response in them, then that makes that character part of reality. It has an tangible impact on their worlds. The physical world which, at the end of the day, is just synthesized by our brains from our senses (which are just arbitrary signal input devices).

It’s not exactly the immersion, embodiment or identity formation that games or simulations researchers talk about. But it certainly adds to the growing blur between what is real and what is virtual.

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