09 November 2014

What "new learning" has inspired you in your career?

Day 7 of the November Te@chThought Attitude of Gratitude Blogging Challenge

What new learning has inspired you in your career?

I have to admit that I did put this prompt off for a bit because I was a little confused by the term "new learning."  Does this mean a new way of learning? Does it mean what new thing I have learned?  I'm not altogether sure.  I did read a few other posts on this to see what other people were thinking and I think technology is the popular answer.

I am not any different than my colleagues in this respect.  I do have to admit that I, too, have been quite taken by some new uses of technology.  I do appreciate Google docs and how they can make my life easier (no lost thumb drives, sharing docs directly with students, no collecting papers).  I am just starting to play around with Google Classroom and my goal is to have mine up and running by the end of the month.  I have been using Twitter with my students and professionally.  Going back to a previous post of mine, some of this technology has helped me to foster connections with students, which is paramount, in my opinion.

As I am writing this, something just dawned on me.  Yes, technology has changed the playing field in so many ways but some things haven't changed at all.  For example, I use DuoLingo with my students.  This app for education can be accessed by any device (iPod, iPad, Chromebook,etc) and has proven to be a great tool for learning in the foreign language classroom.  Using the app is what I might call "new learning" but one thing is "old."  If students perceive that they are having fun doing something, then it doesn't equate to learning for them and this is key.  I think we have always had to find ways to not let on to students that they are actually learning because what we're doing is fun.  It works really well because I award them extra points on their average for completing a certain number of tasks on DuoLingo and each quarter the student with the highest XP points (experience points) gets a prize.  

So if had to say anything about "new learning", I would say bring on the "old" in a "new" way!

Check out DuoLingo!

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