Learning Tools to Wax On and Wax Off – Mr. Miyagi Where You At?

I can’t stop learning. I don’t think that’s a confession. I hope it isn’t a confession. It’s more a statement that should be recognized as universal.

I can’t stop learning. We – the people – can’t stop learning.

But where is the learning happening? And how is it happening?

Kids from 8-18 are consuming approximately 10 hours of media a day. Minority youth are closer to 13 hours a day. That’s important.

How are schools around the world coping with this digital/media revolution?

A 2010 study done by PBS and Grunwald Associates shows that nearly all K-12 teachers use some form of digital media–including interactive games, activities, lesson plans, and simulations–for learning…more than 62 percent report that they use digital media frequently (two times a week or more) and nearly 24 percent report that they use digital media every day for classroom instruction.

By 2015 the entire nation of South Korea will have completely digital textbooks for all of their K-12 students. Technology must be used as a tool to reach and engage students. Companies like Piazza have come from groups of students given the license to collaborate and create with digital technology.

The desire for student driven content is increasing at such a rate that old models of “top down” publishing will no longer be able to sustain the weight of educational demand. Last summer the U.S. Department of Education announced the creation of its National Learning Registry, an on-line reservoir for digital learning content from all over the nation.

But what tools do students and teachers have to critically examine this content? Where will they get them?

There are no real start to finish tools that create engaging, 21st century content made FOR the people BY the people.

Until students begin to see the deep value of learning made relevant to them – what are their role models for learning? Where do they look for these role models? In the media!

The kind of lessons learned by Ferris Bueller and Cameron Frye about life, family, love, anger, honesty, and friendship have resonated with youth in the decades since the film was made.

The legendary car scene teaches a necessary life lesson under three minutes – that is efficient education.

Learning happens through experimentation and memories linked to tactile experience:

The 1999 cinematic masterpiece, “The Wood“, starring Omar Epps highlights the journey of three best friends growing up in Inglewood, California.

Learning happens through experimentation and memories linked to tactile experience:

The deep philosophy of Mr. Miyagi was eternally embedded into the human psyche through The Karate Kid. A simple four words demonstrate the power of a balanced universe and self-knowledge found through inner peace. These powerful words were then repeated by Jackie Chan to remind a new generation of what they may have forgotten.

Learning happens through experimentation and memories linked to tactile experience:

Learning happens when it’s not forced. When you’re comfortable and you’re motivated and you feel like your actions will bring something valuable into the world. Learning happens when you do the unexpected. Learning happens through risk-taking, through drastic circumstances, and through tension resolved by breaking through.

Let’s not be afraid of the unknown. Let’s see what we can come up with together, but we must have the tools to experiment first.

PS – newquill

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4 thoughts on “Learning Tools to Wax On and Wax Off – Mr. Miyagi Where You At?

  1. What an exciting post!

    “Technology must be used as a tool to reach and engage students. Companies like Piazza have come from groups of students given the license to collaborate and create with digital technology.”

    I absolutely agree! Literacy in my English classroom must ultimately expand beyond the current definition of reading, writing, speaking and reasoning. It must incorporate, ferment, and utilize new digital media formats, computer programming languages, website development, social networking, new digital production and editing tools, and computer programming languages.

    “Let’s not be afraid of the unknown. Let’s see what we can come up with together, but we must have the tools to experiment first.”

    These new incorporations need not come at the expense of student’s mastery of common core, traditional frameworks and established curriculum. Rather, it can become the new means with which our students discover and critically master classic works of literature, poetry, grammar and mechanics.

    -Jennie D.
    A Teacher on A Mission

    “Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity…” Gilda Radner

    • Hey Jennie,
      Wonderful thoughts – thank you! Do you think that media literacy – the ability to break down and understand ideas communicated through new media (audio, video, social content, etc.) is a skill that students must master? That media literacy is as relevant to student’s lives as textual literacy? What are the core competencies that underlie both? Where do they differ?

      And what tools do students need to build these kinds of literacy together? What tools do you as a teacher need to engage students in the practice of metacognition and contextual understanding?

      Viva la revolucion,
      Michael

      • In the state where I teach media literacy is an integral part of high school English curriculum,
        Media literacy requires students to master far more than the ability to break down and understand ideas communicated through new media (audio, video, social content, etc.)
        The school in which I teach literacy encompasses reading, writing, reasoning and speaking.
        Here is a link to the literacy chart we use,[ http://web.mac.com/doughejd/iWeb/Classroom/Blog/E3482949-D3F0-4393-AD30-29F0BB77BCA6.html ] which details the skill sets or core competencies that literacy entails.

        SIDE NOTE ->You should look it over before reading the rest of this response. Otherwise, I’m not sure if it will make as much sense.

        Every class begins with an overview of the content as well as literacy objective for that we will cover during that class. While the material covered in class will differ greatly, the objectives stay the same regardless of the medium used to meet it. In fact, I often begin teaching a new skills by having my students apply them to new media prior to applying them to a difficult text. In this way, they realize that the skills are not just enabling them to read words but also the world around them.

        My students need tools that will allow them to engage in the best medium to meet the objective. If a book is the best means than I need many copies of it. If a tweet, facebook post, pdf., image, song/film clip, or search engine is the best means, than I need something that can allow my students to not only experience it but also manipulate, analyze, create, use, and ultimately develop their own. I have ideas that are more specific in terms, and more than happy to share them with you.

        As for the tools needed to engage students in the practice of metacognition and contextual understanding, I need you to be a little more specific so I can best respond.

      • Hi Jennie,
        Awesome chart! Have you seen the newmedialiteracies out of the MIT media lab? http://www.newmedialiteracies.org/the-literacies.php

        Their core focus is to make standards relevant and purposeful. The chart that you included seemed like it really applied to 20th century skills – a foundation for 21st century skills.

        My questions about metacognition and contextual understanding probably make more sense in relationship to the newedialiteracies. As in keeping them in the back of your mind anytime students engage with content in the classroom.

        The chart seemed to focus on a core skills – reading, writing, reasoning, speaking, but didn’t unpack what those mean exactly. Is “reading” simply reading across the board? How is reading “social studies” different from reading “hip hop?”

        What tools currently exist to get students to think deeply about the media content they are consuming?

        And keep up the wonderful work! Teaching is truly an art, a mission, a calling, and you have absolutely got the spirit needed to succeed! Thanks so much for engaging with us here on the blog.

        Michael
        CEO of newquill

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