I recently traveled to Boston for the Digital Media Learning Conference where I’d been transformed by the ways we need to change how we think about learning, engagement, and community. New phrases, new approaches, new strategies whirl in my head as I think about ways to open to what students have to teach me and how I create more bridges to them and their learning.
I also have new-found respect for my daughter and her relationship to technology—rather than feeling like technology is driving a wedge between our opportunities for connection, I am committed to joining her explorations. We can learn together, and she can be the expert, teaching me to embrace alternate ways of engaging. I can teach her about deeper reflection about the worlds she is falling into (specifically Minecraft) as well as discernment about how she consumes technology. The session, Complexities and Contradictions – Examining Girls’ Participation in Digital Media Programs, revealed the importance of my daughter (and all learners) creating with technology, whether its making movies or digital stories or games or apps. During this coming summer, I plan to work with Hope on creating a digital story – subject and style to be determined by her, letting the process link us together as we unite in the process of creating.
As parent, teacher and citizen, these ideas rise to the surface of my awareness:
We must cultivate confidence in all people—this is the key to engagement. Three frames that Zumix grounds their work in:
What if we started each class with those frames? Or each night we can sat down to dinner, what if we discussed our days in terms of what “I can/I create/I connect”? Would we have different kinds of classroom discussions as well as family links?
Confidence in our days—This be one way to foster empowerment and engagement. I’m going to try to create deeper, stronger, more visible pathways to confidence and connection.