Monday, January 20, 2014

Real World Teaching and Learning

I was out for a walk the day after Thanksgiving when I noticed some birds in a pond about half a mile from my house.  I go by this pond several times a week, but I hadn't seen these before.

I pulled out my phone and started searching what they might be.  I wasn't having much success when I looked across the pond and saw someone taking pictures with several thousand dollars with of photography equipment.

I decided that anyone who invests that much money in something must:
1. know more than I do.
2. not mind a couple of questions.

I walked around the pond to where he was standing and asked about the birds.  In five minutes I knew that what I had been looking at were some cormorants.  I also learned about the other birds -- including a hybrid Mallard that has a green head and a white body.

This spurred me to go home and look up more about the birds in my neighborhood.

This type of learning is what I hope for my students.  I want them to notice something in their world and begin to ask questions.  I want them to see the role of technology, but I also want them to seek out experts who don't mind answering rookie questions.

So many lessons I teach seem contrived.

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