Talons learners have just completed week six of their in-depth projects. They report and reflect on their progress every two weeks. Many recent posts provide the reader with great insight into what we are learning and what we are struggling with. As we say often in our program, we learn the most when we challenge ourselves. By navigating through these challenges, we become more effective and enriched learners, getting to know ourselves a little more each time. Our in-depths projects immerse us in one of our passions for a prolonged period of time, not frequently seen in secondary school.
If you have not already figured it out, my in-depth is learning more about technology, especially blogging. As “teachers” of Talons, we role-model or learn alongside of our program’s participants. In today’s blog, I am trying to figure out how to insert hyperlinks. Inspired by a recent professional development day keynote speaker, Ross Laird, we know technology is here and our youth know how to use it well. See his website for more informative articles and posts.
He claims that many parents have not adopted the technology that their children are using, so it is up to us, the educators, to become the learner’s mentors. Learners can access any subject’s content online anywhere and any time. Thus, an educator’s role is shifting from being a lecturer to being a mentor. We support the development of the whole child in Talons and that includes their social and emotional development as well as their intellectual development.
Our in-depth project is all about mentorship, learning alongside an expert and focusing more on skills than content that can just be read in a book or online. The Talons learner focuses on practical knowledge as well as propositional knowledge, especially during their in-depth. Learning alongside the other, like an apprentice and master, also provides opportunities for wisdom and intuitive knowledge to be shared during the process.
So with some trepidation I enter the blogging world. I support Chet Bowers’ work when addressing the negative side of technology in his book, called Let Them Eat Data. For example, he warns us about the loss of local, ecological knowledge. This local knowledge is often not accessible online; however, it may be a critical piece to the community’s way of living and survival.
Another author, Bill McKibben dispells the notion that this generation is better informed in his book, called The Age of Missing Information. His argument supports the notion that being outdoors in nature provides us with direct experiences filled with information that no television can provide. He concludes that less is more. The timing of my thesis is just perfect (more about that another time!).
Technology is here and it is not going to go away any time soon. How do we balance the use of techonology in schools with all the other worthwhile learning opportunities?
Talons learners explore their passions for learning in their blogs. I will highlight some of them below and share others in my subsequent blogs.
Learning how to play the guitar is exemplified by Conrad’s blog. Follow his blogs and you can get some awesome instructions!
Becoming more flexible is explored in Chelsea’s blog. She shows us how one can become more flexible as we follow her 30 day flexiblity program.
Owen’s Blog reports his learning while programming robots. Videos of his robot moving about show us how challenging programming can be.
Andrew’s blog reflects on his progress in writing HTML code. His latest reflection #3 tells us more about life while learning HTML code in the process.
While dancing through life, Kelly’s blogs reveal her path of self-exploration, giving us a glimpse of what it is like to live and learn every day.
Jennifer S. explores the wilderness using several different modes of transportation. Her tips and travels are revealing a journey that is bigger than just being outdoors, following trails.
Also, trying to become more environmentally conscious, Jennifer A. is trying to reduce her ecological footprint. She shares her suggestions that reduce our impact on this earth.
And lastly for now, how about writing a Shakespearan play using his writing style. Leanne’s blog illustrates that her passion is worth exploring more and more deeply as well. She is immersing herself in a personal experience that brings together her interests and skills for writing.
And so another blog has been posted. The links work! My next goal is to learn to embed technology. Be back in two weeks with another in-depth update.
Quirien Mulder ten Kate
Talons Program Mentor