New Learning & School/classroom independence

In New Culture of Learning, Thomas and Seely Brown articulate the growing need and demand for technological responsive pedagogy. In their description, there is a very specific place for these technological cultures to take place in the classroom space, stating, “We believe that this new culture of learning can augment learning in nearly every facet of education and every stage of life. It is a core part of what we think of as “arc of life” learning, which comprises the activities in our daily lives that keep us learning, growing, and exploring” (Thomas & Seely Brown, 18).

Historically, education in the United States has been purely mechanistic, meaning process oriented to create a finished product. Students taught this way, have learned the steps to develop a finished product displaying their learning. This style was designed to out of the industrial revolution and the need to workers in the United States to operate and work in the mechanical workforce. Since then we have always taught in this same fashion.

By implementing a digitally responsive pedagogical style we can begin to break down this mechanistic style of learning and allows students to engage in different and fun styles of learning.  By providing and teaching students digital tools, students have stepped out of the classroom dependent learning setting and the mechanistic learning style into now facilitating their own learning, and thus becoming classroom independent, the goal of every educator. We want each student to desire to learn and be able to learn material without the necessity of having a instructor constantly giving the  information. This can be achieved through culturally responsive pedagogical practices as well as the use and development of digital tools that empower students to become learners of new information.

Once students are empowered to learning in settings that are meaningful and substantive to them the goal of education has been achieved, school independent learning in ways that engage their interests both intellectually and creatively.

What are some culturally responsive and digitally responsive pedagogical ideas/lessons that have engaged students creatively?


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Social movements used to be so difficult to get started and maintain… This used to be the sediment in regards to previous social movements, today it is a different story. Zimmerman explains in Documenting Dreams how the success of the dream act stemmed from the use of digital media technologies. It was such a cool read to hear the importance that digital media and literacies have played in the constant struggle of immigration reform.

I feel that the next big reform is the prison industrial movement and its abolishment. There is a large community on Twitter that is talking about these issues and are engaging on developing a strategy to end the unjust prison system in the United States. As a future social studies teacher, I want my children to engage and make their voice heard on something that they are passionate about.

My question is how do we effectively teach students in a way that their voice is heard and valued in the constant stream of information? I pose this question not to gain a direct answer but rather to stir myself to write and engage in a way where my own voice on these issues can be heard, thus being able to teach these important skills to a future class.

So to those who are already educators, what are good ways of accomplishing this in the educational space?