CMC11- LEARNING THROUGH PLAY

If making is connecting because it requires a compilation of ideas, brainstorming and sharing than of course, play comes into “play” at this point. When one plays they create, learn and experience. They then share that experience with other after or whilst the interaction is in place.

Ironically, as I am concluding this course with SUNY I am seeing how my making of concepts and creating ideas from the readings is the form of connecting. My creations have aloud me to study, brainstorm, compile and reach out – hence, connecting.

Through this course/mooc I have been able to use the tools and make an imprint as opposed to just receiving the information. This is much like play, because one manipulates the item(s) and creates with them. Therefore, possibly changing concept- imprinting his/her idea upon it. 

The open ended creativity of this course aloud it to be almost a play environment and required much reflection and thought. It is out of the box and is the epitome of creation.

“When we play we are connected to the purest sense of our humanity, the truest expression of our individuality.” (Brown, 2009, p. 5)

Even though I know the mooc is never ending I am grateful for this learning experience within my course work. It has caused me to contemplate, create more and think. It has also opened my eyes to the diversities of people and how we can communicate. Thank you fellow MOOC(ers), to our facilitator, Professor Carol Yeager and to all the endless resources of information and individuals who strive to think and create.

This course has enhanced my capacity to aproach and teach in my classroom in a more creative and diverse way. As per my first blog- “My degree is a Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies and Human Development, with an associates in Early Childhood education. Therefore, I wish to intertwine the content of multiculturalism and discuss the aspects of it in a classroom setting and in education.”

Thank you again for this opportunity.

 

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cmc11- catalyst

It’s unreal but my opinion of technology is slowly being changed. I always had a positive opinion of it but, still saw negatives. I am finding more and more positives as this course emerges.

I found it interesting how Dr. Sue Cranmer expressed the importance of technology within education. She expressed that many children get disengaged in the learning invironment and it is a mission to try and merge the two worlds of home technology and school technology. She said that children mostly love their technology use at home and formed a questioning point as to how it can be infused in the classroom.

For example, SUNY has adopted technology as a resource for education. I have taken my entire bachelors of education online and am loving it. I’m not sure I would be as motivated if it were not online.

Catalyst is defined by Google definitions as;

cat·a·lyst  

/ˈkatl-ist/
Noun
  1. A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.
  2. A person or thing that precipitates an event.

Technology is the catalyst of education and perception. It is a fundamental facet in the future of our world.

 
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cmc11- creativity, play and today

“Experts say creativity is innate, so it can’t really be lost. But it needs to be nurtured.” Is stated in Are Today’s Youth Less Creative & Imaginative? by By Rachael Rettner of NBC News.

My initial opinion is that technology has stifled the integral aspects of creativity and play. However, this course has proved me wrong. With the amount of creativity, open ended discussions and area to explore one can reach great heights with creativity.  On the other hand technology can inhibit creativity by producing fast answers and creating by a click of a button and therefore, I still feel that individuals, specifically young children need to be introduced to make believe and freedom to create without technology. This needs to be nurtured.

Play and creativity is integral to being able to problem solve and integral to learning. When one plays they are releasing themselves and therefore am able to be more successful and also learn through playing. That’s why play in young children is so important, because they learn what works and what doesn’t – they learn how to create. 

As I write this I recall a video “My Left Foot.” The man in the  video was a paraplegic and was able to produce art work with his feet. He played with his feet in lieu of his hands. His feet were his hands, the medium of the brain.

Through play one is able to distinguish and overcome obstacles. I see this man as one who overcomes his obstacle. Proving thus was the study done with two groups of rats. One group was permitted to play and the other not. When faced with a challenging situation of an intense cat odor the rats fled, only the rats that were exposed to the capacity of play eventually left hiding. The other group of rats remained in hiding and eventually died there. This shows that play allows the brain to be stimulated, grow and allows the individual to take chances and maybe get messy. I have a friend who is always playful and no matter what happens she laughs. She is very productive, but she has the capacity to role with life’s punches without getting too upset. I often joke with her that the sky could be falling and she would be fine.

Creativity is essential to life.

 

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CMC11- Global Communication

For me there are several issues at place with global communication however, there two main points that come to mind.

Firstly,  I wonder if our communication within our own is really that successful. How do we communicate with listening as opposed to just hearing? And, how do we communicate when possibly our biased opinion gives us selective hearing. Also, are our thoughts clear in order to communicate? – over time and from much thought they may be… Yet then again our thoughts are construed by our experiences and our opinions. Do we hear what the other person is saying. Therefore, are we ready to become global. I suppose yes, but, we must learn to listen. Have a objective view when listening, which is very hard!

Secondly, I find that technology can be very productive and at the same time possibly confusing. I found my biggest set back in the CMC11 course was the fact that I am not computer savvy. The online programs inhibited me from communicating in my best form. I wonder if this course could be presented differently with a more diverse approach to all individuals computer savvy and not. Technology is a culture of it’s own.

Any thoughts on how to bridge these gaps within the gap??

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CMC11 – A biased approach or an enhanced approach??(week 8)

I believe the world is established upon a bias. We each have our opinions, narrative upbringing and life choices that are developed by experience and exposure. From the Wikipedia List of Cognitive Biases I pasted the definition of choice-supportive bias.

Choice-supportive      bias – the tendency to remember one’s choices as better      than they actually were.[13]     

I propose the idea that one may have the “tendency to remember ones choices as better than they actually were” (Wikipedia)  because of the outcome that they produced. Much like the Web presented in week eight a person’s life is created by intricate details that include disposition, choice, decision, error and growth etc. When one makes a choice that has a positive outcome the happenings that occur after  are affected by this choice. It may impose opinion on the next decision or add insight something else. So in a sense it is larger than it actually was.

Studies show that when one succeeds they are more likely to be receptive of new information. Hence, my point that a choice that is remembered as greater is actually because it encourages other positivity and affects future outcomes. The idea of constructivism encourages this concept. I am including  a research paper on this idea. Please see the following. I would love to hear your opinion on the ideas presented. They are still rough and need further thought.

B”H

Yakira Leah Dorfman

3/19/2013

Research Paper- Constructivism

 

            If one takes the theory of constructivism one must ignore the idea that one is learning a piece of knowledge. Instead one must look at ones learning as “personal and social construction of meaning out of the bewildering array of sensations which have no order or structure besides the explanations which we fabricate for them.” (Hein) This concept is much like the  learning cycle and experiential learning as the information is absorbed into the back cortex of the brain and then formulated into a complete and whole concept through reflection. Our ideas, thoughts and theory’s are definitely constructed by our experiences. Ones learning is determined by our prejudices, experiences, age and both physical and emotional maturity. It has been proven that a motivated learner will offer determination  to what s/he is learning and therefore learn better. If one has an association to the topic s/he will be more open to receiving it. “We learn things that are important to us. Plasticity in the brain probably depends more on signals from the emotional centers than it does on new sensory inputs.” (Zull, 225) Our emotions can inhibit or assist our learning and in the case of constructivism one learns through personal experience.

             For example, a personal from constructivism  is growing up attending Orthodox Jewish Schools and how I managed to construct the knowledge of my secular studies always with the idea of how it could connect and impact positively my Judaism. The studies became personal and still to this day are.  On a more basic level, I remembered Hebrew words with connections to things that I knew. For example, the Hebrew word MIDBAR (desert) was remembered through the word BAR. A BAR is where someone gets a drink. MID meant to me that it was lacking a drink- much like in the desert where there is very little water. Something as mundane and basic as a “bar” was now the key tool to remembering the Hebrew word MIDBAR.

            History has proven that constructivism is the way  man developed and created new inventions. Man created mechanics and placed pieces together in connection to what he already knew.  Development is built upon and individual facets are explained in relation to each other. According to Chassidus, Jewish philosophy that is considered the “light” of the Torah only G-d created and can create “something from nothing” (Yesh M’Ayin). Humans on the other hand create “something from something” (Yesh M’Yesh.) This is much like the idea of constructivism in the way that individuals learn through association of something else “something from something.”

            In an educational setting such as a classroom  a teacher constructs a lesson that she already knows the answer in a way that the students can learn how to find out the answer themselves. “Constructivist teachers encourage students to constantly assess how the activity is helping them gain understanding. By questioning themselves and their strategies, students in the constructivist classroom ideally become “expert learners.” This gives them ever-broadening tools to keep learning. With a well-planned classroom environment, the students learn HOW TO LEARN.”  ( http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index.html)

            In fact, yesterday I practiced the Constructivism approach in my classroom. I was finishing up the last portions of study for Passover and wanted  to review it through a game. I made two teams the student verses myself. They obviously won, because I carefully empowered them by guiding their answers with carefully chosen questions. The activity seemed to be very successful and my students seemed  to retain much of what I had taught.  

             Much like my experience in the paragraph above when an individual succeeds s/he is open to retain information. In a constructivist classroom one is motivated through the success of being able to achieve success through support and guidance. Success allows one’s mind to achieve more even when it’s of the smallest amount. This information is shared by Zull in the Art of Changing the Brain on page 237.

            The best thing I ever heard the principal of my Judaic teachers seminary was at the end of the year where he shared his few last thoughts of wisdom to us. He stated that all the knowledge (Judaic and secular) he infused in us the past year was phenomenal, however, the most important thing to know is how to find the answer or seek knowledge yourself. This is a pure example of a Constructivist teacher and leader. And, in fact he did and majority of the teachers did teach with this approach.

            Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky are the two eminent individuals in the development of the constructivist theories and each share the common belief that all classrooms should be run with the method of constructivism. However, they have different beliefs in how they should be carried out in the classroom.

            Piaget explains the learning process through schemes of assimilation and accommodation. The assimilation scheme is when one develops information into a scheme and accommodation is when one transforms existing schemes or creates new ones. The motivation to the learner is to find commonality and balance between the different schemes. This is much like the generic definition of constructivism when one finds association between two given items. Piaget bases his theory on learning and constructivism on discovery. He feels that in order to provide a learning environment that is of excellence children should be able to construct knowledge that is meaningful to them and  their stages of development.

            Vygotsky’s theory is known as the theory of social constructivism . This is because of his idea of Proximal Development which is when one develops through the guidance of a teacher, mentor or individual that one is in contact with. Hence, the word “proximal.” In Vygotsky’s approach the classroom is an environment where there is support but no force is given. The individuals are free to discuss, engage, analyze ,solve freely and even use electronic devices to express and discover. This is much like a 2013 learning environment with the MOOC experience or a multimedia project given to a sixth grade student about a Southern American civilization. It seems the methods of learning in this scenario are not limited- the sky is the limit.

            According to my research Constructivism seems to be a very beneficial approach to education. It allows one to establish understanding and gives opening for true growth. Its ideas allow empowerment and I believe will encourage greatness.  

Works Cited                                                                                                                                                                  Cormier, Davie. what is a mooc? n.d. Youtube.

Hein, Prof. George E. Constructivist Learning Theory . Jerusalem: institute of inquiery, 1991.

Ozer, Ozgur. “CONSTRUCTIVISM in Piaget and Vygotsky.” The Fountain ( 2004). issue 48.

Zull, James E. The Art of Changing the Brain. Sterling: Stylus Publishing, 2002.

 http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index.html

 

 

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CMC11- Creativity Needs Boundaries …. So Ironic

I find it so ironic that the generalization of a creative person generally gives the idea that the individual is very free and spacy. When in fact, creativity needs structure. Freedom needs structure. Right now we are celebrating the holiday of Passover (Pesach) which celebrates when the Jewish people were redeemed from Egypt after 210 years of enslavement. We eat Matzah which is considered bread of impoverishment because it is flat unlike traditional bread products which rise from yeast like ones ego does. And, we do and keep many other required obligations that are commanded to us by G-d in the Torah (old testament.) Ironic that our lives (meaning mine & other orthodox Jews)  are bound to the Torah and it’s commandments yet we celebrate freedom. (This was a discussion that was posed at my families Passover Seder (Passover ritual meal and practice). Seder literally means “order” as we go through the order of events that happened to the Jews in Egypt and at the redemption. )

Structure facilitates freedom. Just like when you are decorating a room you need the structure of a room in order to create. The structure of Judaism for a Jew allows one to reach different areas that would not be accessible without it. A structure is a compound of regulation or establishment and structure allows room for creativity.

Creativity requires structure so that you can establish what to be creative for. For example, in a buisness meeting one needs structure in order to brain storm. “The issue is…..” “This needs to be fixed …. How?”” We can only use xyz materials…. “

Possibly a more pungent example is the example my Father Dr. Dorfman MD. gave he said that when he was studying Psychiatry one of his workshops invovled laying on the floor and finding the inner depths of himself. The structure was that there was no judgment permitted by others. This allowed him and others to reach deeper within. The structure enhanced creativity.

In a classroom setting Constructivism is when the teacher promotes an answer that she already knows through experiential learning. The structure is the constructivism but the structure supports and enhances the child’s creativity. It leaves open ended room for learning and experiences.

Would love to hear your thoughts. Here is a structure to promote your creativity.

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CMC11 leadership lessons from a dancing guy

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In response to the topic of innovation and creativity. The man’s innovation of dancing slowly becomes the norm as everyone joins in. But, there first had to be a leader.

See Link;   http://pinterest.com/pin/171981279490844952/

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