Category Archives: #cep812

A best “bad” solution for a Wicked Problem

The past seven weeks, my think tank team, consisting of Mick Haley, Regan Kwong and myself, have worked tirelessly on the wicked problem of Rethinking Teaching.  We began tackling our wicked problem with a brainstorm of all of the questions that we have surrounding rethinking teaching. After much deliberation we broke down the questions into what the top 10 questions from the brainstorm and dwindled it down to the top 5 questions:

WPP_Rethinking_Teaching

After much research and conversation, we came down to the three questions that ultimatley together could help us find the best “bad” solution to our wicked problem..

  1. How can we prepare teachers to utilize student led-questioning and inquiry based questions in the classroom?
  2. How can legislators implement better policies to provide support and resources to all educational institutions?
  3. How could we use technology to assist teachers in innovative thinking?

After even more research, we decided to poll our Professional Learning Networks and created a Google Form Survey that was sent out and available for participants to respond for 1 week (from October 6, 2017 to October 13, 2017).  In total we had 68 responses (mostly all educators from a wide range of locations), check out the questions and responses HERE.

After gathering the data and analyzing it, the next step to the process was finally coming up with the construction of our three-tiered solution to Rethinking Teaching.  We decided to go with a PADLET to express our solutions to this wicked problem.

Made with Padlet

To see the full padlet, CLICK HERE.

Although we came up with an idea that would show our best “bad” solution to rethinking teaching, I think the beauty in the entire process of experiencing this problem, is the idea that there really is no best solution to rethinking teaching.  The question to all educators of How can we rethink teaching or more specifically, how can we rethink teaching to educate our 21st century students, doesn’t have a perfect solution.  In fact, “to quote David Cooperrider, a beautiful question never sleeps,” (Berger, 2014. p211).

If anything, this wicked problem project provides some basic insight into some of the steps all stakeholders in education can look at to help reshape the way we educate our future.

 

Sources:

Berger, W. (2014). A more beautiful question: the power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas. New York: Bloomsbury.

How can I make an educational impact?

As I am nearing the end of CEP 812, I was asked to think about my own personal beautiful question, as brought on by the final chapter of A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger.

Berger asks us to think about what our life’s beautiful question would be, and although, I don’t think I have yet stumbled upon my overall life question, I will say that the book helped me think about several questions directly related to my career and to think about where I am personally headed in my career as an educator.  Ultimately, I want to be able to make an impact — so my beautiful question is “How can I make an educational impact?” — with the students that I teach at the high school level and the adult-learners I teach at Apple.

This past week we were introduced to Thomas L. Friedman’s idea that intelligence (or your IQ) eventually won’t be as important as someone’s curiosity (curiosity quotient or CQ) and passion (passion quotient or PQ) for creation.  In breaking down my infographic, I decided to talk about the differences between passion and curiosity and how I feel connected to those as a student and as an educator.  I thought about other beautiful questions that someone might ask as they learn more about PQ and CQ and connected it with my passion and curiosity for technology both in and outside of the classroom.

My goal as an educator is to continually ask those Why, What if and How questions in and outside of the classroom. I want to be able to provide my students with an opportunity to ask questions, use technology and collaborate with each other. And through TPACK, I plan to continue creating innovative and engaging lesson plans and collaborate with my Professional Learning Network while also continuing to expand who I follow within my own filter bubble so as to stay open-minded.

Finally, as I was working on this, I started thinking about how the role of an educator is changing.  Especially since it’s common for those outside of the school setting to think that technology will wipe away (or replace) educators.  So I decided to ask one last question — Are teachers obsolete?

It honestly feels like we (in the education system) are in the midst of a major change in the way we educate and become educated in the 21st century. Eventually the role of teachers will no longer be direct instructional practices as they once were famous for.  No longer will the classroom look like one teacher in front asking questions, while students sitting in rows are answering those said questions. Teachers will be required to facilitate and mentor students to ask their own questions, discuss and collaborate with their peers and come up with their own solutions.

And with that, here’s my infographic:

pqandcq_deutch_25341700

 

Sources:

Berger, W. (2014). A more beautiful question: the power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas. New York: Bloomsbury.

Friedman, T. L. (2013, January 29). It’s P.Q. and C.Q. as Much as I.Q. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/opinion/friedman-its-pq-and-cq-as-much-as-iq.html

WPP: Rethinking Teaching Survey

My think tank team got together today and discussed some really great WHAT IF questions that inspired us to think about potential solutions for our wicked problem.

Our wicked problem is Rethinking Teaching which ultimately means we want to find a way to redefine what skills, resources and support are necessary for the 21st century learning environment.  In essense, we have trickled down this broad topic into three main key ideas to push us toward the best “bad” solution. Those key points that we have

  1. Inquiry-Based Learning
  2. Policy Change
  3. Technology

Visually this is how I personally have been thinking or imagining how our wicked problem would eventually find potential solutions or a best “bad” solution:

WPPChart

We came up with three questions to help push us ultimately toward our solution for Rethinking Teaching:

  1. How can we prepare teachers to utilize student led-questioning and inquiry based questions in the classroom?
  2. How can legislators implement better policies to provide support and resources to all educational institutions?
  3. How could we use technology to assist teachers in innovative thinking?

As a group we came up with a total of 18 questions that will take about 5 minutes to answer.  We are planning to send these questions out through our professional learning networks so that we can get a varied mix of responses.  These responses will remain anonymous and we will analyze them to better understand our wicked problem and suggest a solution.

Here’s a Link to the Survey. 

If you are reading this blog please consider answering this short survey about the wicked problem of Rethinking Teaching in our professional context.

I have crafted this survey for an assignment that is part of my graduate program in educational technology at Michigan State University. I also hope that the results will inform discussions and planning for technology integration in the work we do together, and with students.

Please complete this survey no later than Friday, October 13, 2017. Thank you very much for your time and insights.

 

Thank you so much for your time!

-Mara

The Value of a Good Information Diet

Understanding the importance of one’s own Information Diet can help navigate through the wondrous perils of the 21st century.  As an information consumer it is important for me to educate and understand how the algorithms of social media and the world wide web present information to me daily.  More importantly, understanding affinity spaces and filter bubbles created by these algorithms can not only help me make more informed decisions daily, but also be able to pass this general knowledge to my students as they are consumed with technology and information almost every moment of their young adult lives.

This week in CEP 812 our focus is on our own Information Diet. I watched the YouTube video of Henry Jenkins discussing Participatory Culture and how we make content both in person and online to share our creative ideas or opinions.  In this video Jenkins asks the question: “How do we grow from our participatory culture to participating in our political and civic structures?”  By addressing this, he is hoping that consumers and creators will take what they are reading, learning, doing and creating online, and find ways to become more engaging, not just for themselves, but for a larger, mass audience.  His example about using Wikipedia in the classroom, is a great way that teachers can support using online community-driven resources to teach and participate with others who are interested in similar ideas (or books, projects, etc).

In James Paul Gee’s (2013) book, The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students Through Digital Learning, Gee talks about filter bubbles and how the internet, based on the interests we share online, create filters (or algorithms) to only show us information that we would be interested in.  For example, even if you don’t share what political party you are affiliated with Facebook, the company still will label you as a specific political affiliate based on the stories you share and/or the public figures and pages that you follow.  From there, Facebook will be more likely to only show you stories from specific political parties or share advertisements with you based on the political label you are associated with.

Even with all of these filter bubbles already established by the Internet, we then have our own “confirmation bias,” where we seek out information that would support and confirm our own beliefs; potentially ignoring anything that isn’t what we agree with.

Beyond the participatory culture that we have, the filter bubbles that have been created for us and our very own confirmation bias, some may worry that all of this constant information we are exposed to online may negatively impact how we are able to create and think daily.

I think that it is possible that we have already been consuming quick facts and bits of information constantly, especially with the invention of the SmartPhone, we are constantly bombarded by information every moment we touch the phone.  And those quick bits of information aren’t necessarily accurate, nor are they real.

Looking at my own behaviors and that of my students, the moment we get a notification to our phones, we automatically reach for the phone to start consuming. And whether we want to or not, we have our own biases and filters to the information that we are given. The wicked problem I face as an educator is what are the limitations and expectations of the Information Diet my students (and myself) experience daily and how can I help my educate my students to be better consumers (or thinkers) when they are accessing this information online?

Thinking about my own Personal Learning Network (or PLN) of other educators that I interact with regularly, I think this directly effects how I not only receive information, but also share information. As soon as I receive information that I think will change or make my job as an educator more difficult, I immediatley share it on Facebook, Twitter and/or in-person.  Normally that information is coming directly from my filter bubble of liberal mindsets and that may not always be a reliable source. 

Not only did I really enjoy all of the readings and videos presented this week in class, but it really forced me to think about what information I consume daily.  Thinking about it, I went immediately to Twitter and looked at everything that I have been following.  Mostly educators, technology enthusiasts and the like — and I thought about who and/or what I could follow to open my eyes to other people or companies to follow that may not necessarily be something that would follow regularly.  I added our current Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, as I don’t agree with her strategies at the moment and also added twitter accounts that specifically post about being both for/against Core Curriculum standards.  I am a huge advocate of Apple’s platforms, so I decided to also follow other platforms like Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Twitter as well.

I did the same thing with my RSS feed, adding more news feeds that don’t necessarily follow the same educational and political viewpoints that I currently hold.  For example, adding Fox News, the National Education Association and various feeds that talk about No Child Left Behind. I also deleted a few feeds, like Huffington Post, as I have found out through previous HuffPost journalists that the organization mostly focuses on “click-bait,” rather than accuracy.

I also tried finding blogs and articles from sources that don’t agree with the Foreign Language learning requirement of high school students in the state of Michigan — seeing as that is more specific to my current career.

After adding these sources to my own infodiet, I think this will help me have more of an open mind (and filter bubble) as I research my Wicked Problem Project (or WPP), as well as how I interact directly with my PLN.  Having a wide range of viewpoints (both conservative/liberal and or for/against) on topics involving education will allow me to think about my WPP with an open-mind (maybe even with a blank canvas).  It will also allow me to be more open with what information I take in and force me to gather and share different perspectives and viewpoints with my professional learning network . Ultimately this will allow me to be more realistic (and accurate) with my own inquiries and solutions as I navigate through my wicked problem project on rethinking teaching. And in turn, as I work with my Think Tank for this project, my partners will also become a part of my PLN.

Check out some of what I found on my Storify:

https://storify.com/deutchteachtech/the-nutritional-value-of-my-info-diet

 

InfoDietJPG
Image created on Pages. Twitter image from Google Search. RSS Feed image from Google Search.

 

 

Source:

DMLResearchHub. [DMLResearchHub].  (2011, August 04). Media Scholar Henry Jenkins on Participatory Culture and Civic Engagement [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/ZgZ4ph3dSmY

Gee, J. P. (2013). The anti-education era: creating smarter students through digital learning. New York City: Palgrave Macmillan.

Merrill, J. B. (2016, August 23). Liberal, Moderate or Conservative? See How Facebook Labels You. Retrieved September 21, 2017, from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/24/us/politics/facebook-ads-politics.html?mcubz=1