Friday, November 10, 2006


[31 October 2006 - Change Agency blog] It is about power. Passive reception of information for the sole purpose of regurgitation is extremely uninspiring and unengaging -- and disempowering -- because it doesn't challenge students on deeper levels. But, even more so, passive reception of information reinforces traditional power structures. What David is describing is creative work — students working with information in a creative manner that allows them to feel empowered. They are able to work with the information using tools that have the potential to allow students to be authors, artists, architects. I have had similar experiences in the classroom with students becoming/feeling more empowered by the technology. I have seen students who "create problems" in other classrooms, become "creators" of multimedia products, animations, video productions, and graphic design products when provided with the tools and the knowledge of how to use the tools to manipulate and communicate information to an audience. I’ve seen students who are otherwise uninterested in school stay after school for hours in order to produce documentary videos for a history class or -- even more powerful -- to develop marketing presentations and videos to market our school to incoming students. ... Of course, I expect to hear the argument that “if the students don't know basic facts and information FIRST, then they can’t work creatively because creative work involves analysis and synthesis of information!” However, so many people in education are relying so much on that argument that pushing students to be more critical and creative isn't even on their radar screens. We are settling for the minimum instead of pushing our students more deeply into their learning.We need to stop settling and begin engaging our students in more empowering, creative, and meaningful learning/work. More

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