Thursday, April 29, 2010

Madison's Faults - Mr. Reynolds Class Network

Madison's Faults - Mr. Reynolds Class Network

Holly cow! This student went over the top with creativity. She made a custom drawings using Smartboards Notebook program, then did a screen recording of this to create an animated image. She needed this as a video, so she used to do a screen capture to convert to video. Crazy...

Talk about a work around. She used the tools she was familiar with, and didn't give up, just kept exploring and trying new things until she got the product she wanted.

Note: the delays in the recorded voice are because she was having to wait for the Notebook program to catch up. These are old hand-me-down PC's and are not able to replay the screen capture very well. The audio was recored with Screentoaster while it was capturing the notebook recording as it played.

Again...just incredible creativity. I can only imagine what this student would be able to accomplish if she had equipment that could keep up with her creativity and ideas.

Check it out.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Drive - Motivation 3.0 - Moving on from the "carrot & stick" industrial models

Motivation, huh, what is it good for... 

Enjoyed Nora Young's conversation about motivation research. Relating these ideas to the needed changes in education. The carrot and stick methods of motivation are left over from the industrial age, just as our educational system. It's high time we move on, and as Daniel Pink points out, research over the past forty-years has pointed this out to us. We've just chosen to ignore it. A new examination of what motivates, especially when it comes to solving today's more complex challenges, is drastically needed.  And I would argue that we're on the verge of accomplishing.

The "higher level" motivators Pink describes: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose, are exactly what we need to begin focusing upon in the education of our youth. We are selling them short (and the future) to continue to believe that simple carrots or sticks will motivate anyone to solve today's complex, global challenges.

Why do we still ignore this information, and continue with techniques that are proven to fail?

As Pink describes, rewards models work well for problems with simple, linear, focused goals.  If tunnel vision is what you're looking for - one correct way to solve (get to the end) of this problem, then reward away, however, this is not the case when the goal is to educate.  We want to create problem solvers that can adapt to the challenges of an unknown future and think outside of the "box of tacks" to come up with new solutions. For this, he points out, we need to tap into the more intrinsic motivators, the exact motivators that are continually ignored in education: giving young learners purpose to what they learn, allowing them to achieve mastery by digging deeper into subjects and not just scratching the surface, and lastly creating an environment where autonomy is expected.  That is learners take a responsibility for their own learning.

I've been having this very conversation with colleagues and students.  The whole idea of setting the bar so low that students have now need or desire to achieve.  While they might complain, students have told me they want to be challenge, they want to feel they are learning something that requires high standards.  If we can more our student motivators to the higher level, intrinsic variety, and away from the stale carrots, I think we'd be surprised at just what students accomplish.

The short version:

or, check out the full interview here:
Spark 109 – April 11 & 13, 2010 | Spark | CBC Radio

Carrot Photo by Madeline Nicole