Saturday, April 16, 2011

Blog Post #12

Assignment: Watch the video by Katie Salen about Quest to Learn. In a blog post discuss what Quest to Learn is and whether it you feel it prepares students for the world described by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod in their video Did you know? which we watched at the beginning of the semester. How can you incorporate some of the methods used at Q2L into your classroom?
Quest to Learn with a list of offered benefits of the school.

Quest to learn is a public school in New York City. The school teaches students through the non-traditional methods of gaming and design. Students are given the opportunity to learn by creating and exploring digital worlds. They are motivated by the same system that motivates them outside of school. The increasing difficulty of tasks they want to complete encourages hard work and collaborative learning. They each develop specialty areas and become teachers as well as students as they work with their peers to create new games.
Are students being prepared for the world described in Did You Know? Yes. On their website Q2L defines the integrated learning practiced at their school by saying
"At Q2L, students learn by "taking on" the behaviors and practices of the people in real life knowledge domains. Students learn to be biologists and historians, and mathematicians instead of learning about biology, history, or math"
These are exactly the skills needed by students in the 21st century. Having facts is no longer a marketable skill. Everyone has facts. Information has been liberated. What is important is learning to gather, synthesize and interpret these facts. That is exactly what students at Q2L are learning to do.
As teachers in schools that don't have all of the amazing resources seen in this video of Q2L we are still able to incorporate the major educational philosophies. We can give our students lessons in which they gather knowledge not just for the sake of knowledge but in order to create something they see as worthwhile and interesting. They don't need to create a 3-D world of Aesop's fables to gain a greater understanding of the stories. They can create a puppet show. If we have access to computers and the internet they can blog about their thoughts on the stories and publish the puppet show they have created in order to gain a wider audience. You can skype with local professors who are experts on the ideas in the fables and give your students the opportunity to ask questions. The main idea is to teach our students how to teach themselves. Information is free for those who know how to take it. What's valuable now is knowing how to use that information and wanting to create and learn and share.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Megan,
    I have came across the Quest to Learn video once before and think it is a great video. As it shows how students use technology in a fun way, by letting students learn through non-traditional methods. I think the assignment you created was good and could I could see it as a future blog assignment. These, like you said, are the skills needed for the 21st century.