Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Who Owns The Learning?

I have been intrigued by all the posts about digital notebooks, writer's notebooks, writing with pen or pencil and the combo of everything. I even wrote about it before vacation. When I started to read Who Owns the Learning? I was torn again, so I chose to write in the book and use notes to pull my thinking together.  It is really intriguing to me how notes allows me to manipulate text so easily.

Here are my notes along with (thinking) of Who Owns the Learning? 

Students should not use computers to the work that could be done on paper (guilty of this)
Student role:  Problem solvers, creativity, collaboration
Teacher role:  mentor, advisor and facilitator. Teachers gain more control over time and  can devote more attention to personalized instruction.

Technology permeates every aspect of our culture today. Students demonstrate huge interest in creating and sharing content (how are my students sharing beyond me?)

Redefine the role of learner as a contributor within my classroom (I have been slowly shifting my student's roles allowing student choice last year I was working towards choice on homework especially in math-students loved this)

Students want ownership and their work to have purpose (total ownership on research projects last year:  poetry book,  science experiment or literary non-fiction) 

Strong lessons include
-student motivation
-role of educator (to guide the lesson along with students)
-potential for student-directed learning
*need immediate feedback
*students want to feel responsible for their learning along with quality of it (over all theme for me throughout the first section)

Empower students to learn  how to learn (LOVE this idea and I wonder why I  didn't think of It? Groups of students encouraged to learn different apps then they teach other students)
Power and purpose and meaningful contribution has been missing from classrooms
Critical problem-solving skills is crucial
Encouraging students to ask the most interesting question (think I will do this with sticky notes allowing students to ask questions but them choose the higher level one) 

As I reread my notes, I have so many ideas to ponder I think I will go take another walk on the beach.  Thanks to @cathymere at Reflect & Refine, @laurakomos at Camp Read A Lot and @jillfisch at My Primary Passion for organizing #CyberPD.

PS: posting on my iPad has been a whole new learning experience for me. 


  1. Maria,

    I, too, have been interested in reading all of the posts about digital notebooks and am still pondering if I am reading to make that switch.

    I noticed your last comment about the challenge of posting on your iPad. I recently began to try to do that, too. I am getting better with using the keyboard but when I have a lot to write I still prefer a regular keyboard. This is not something that my first graders have a concern about. They are equally happy with either type of keyboard.

    Love all this thinking.

  2. Maria,
    Maybe by the end of summer we'll have this digital vs. pen thing worked out. I do some things with digital tools that I could do with a pencil, but I like working digitally better. Actually, it does give me greater flexibility in style, adding images, and sharing.

    Thanks for the reminder of the shifting roles of students and educators. Like you, I hope I can help students "learn how to learn."

    (Posting from the iPad does bring its own challenges.)

    Glad you are joining the conversation,

  3. Maria,
    Reading your post, I couldn't help but think of the SAMR model. How many of us are simply substituting paper/pencil tasks with expensive tech tools? It's really when we reach further and stretch the possibilities for creation that the learning transforms into a whole new beast.

    I'm curious to hear more about these digital notebooks. I do use my iPad, Evernote, and Google docs for much of my note-taking... but sometimes, I just want a paper and pen.

    Thanks for joining in the conversation!

  4. Maria,

    I loved that you captured the role of the students and the role of the teacher. I think that is a HUGE shift in the classroom for the teacher to facilitate - letting go of the control and allowing more choice, yet still meeting the expected standards. Yet, as you mentioned, if we teach the learner to learn . . . all those "standards" can be accomplished and more. The possibilities are just endless.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. I'm glad I've got you to bounce ideas with throughout the school year. Now we've got a whole new realm of ideas to ponder!

  6. Maria,
    Thanks for sharing your thinking and what you are already doing to achieve the goals of autonomy, mastery and purpose! I agree that learning how to learn is essential and I am inspired by how easily kids willingly learn from each other!
    Even though I read digitally, I still took notes with pen and paper! Like Jill if I have a lot to post, I prefer a regular keyboard...and agree with Cathy that posting via iPad has its challenges! Hurray for you-you did it!

  7. Although I am not reading this book,the line...Students should not use computers to do the work that could be done on paper. Yowza! That gets right to the point and is a simple mantra that would be easy to repeat to reflect on planning that involves technology. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Wow, the more I read the more my thinking comes back around… is this a good thing? Who knows but, I love the conversations and challenges to my brain!

    I agree we can find ourselves doing some things with $1000 pencil that we could do with a 49¢ Bic pen (like making that cent sign) but, is that a bad thing? Thinking with my special ed hat, kids learn differently, different medias give different feedback, chalk sand, markers, pens, pencils, computers and even iPads. I think as we have all said find what works for you, help the student determine what works for them and the learning grows from here. Some of just have expensive taste- lol

  9. I do both - we keep digital notebooks through our book blogs and slice of life writng, but those reading journals and writer's notebooks are something I hope to always share with my kids. I like being able to write back and forth...and to have something tangible at the end of the year to reflect upon. Old fashioned, I guess!

  10. Maria,

    Lots of great thinking here (I, too, move back and forth-paper to digital-in my notemaking to the point that my usually organized self, is no longer. As Cathy says, maybe by the end of the summer, I will have figured this out!)I especially like the idea of helping students to learn how to learn. I am a big proponent of metacognitive work. When students can think about their learning, identify what they did that helped them do a task, consider what the obstacles were that got in their way, and plan what they will do next time, they are learning how to learn.

    Thanks for your thoughtful post,


  11. After arriving home from vacation, the first place I have spent my time is reading comments and other blogs about the book. Wow there are so many ideas to think about. I am focusing on the best tool for the project. I agree certain students need certain tools I know I am still waffling on which note book to use. Exciting to share all of our learning together.