Link to video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZGNmyMP1hc
After reading this article, I wrote an entire blog post, reread it, and then deleted it. I left it for a few days and am now coming back to try again. I am struggling with writing a post on this article because I’m really just unsure how I feel about it. At first thought, I think, Google is wrong, a GPA and college degree are important and they cannot be discounted. But then at second thought, I can’t really disagree with what Laszlo Bock is saying. I know plenty of highly intelligent, successful, happy people who don’t have a college degree and there is nothing they would change. On the other hand, I was raised being told that I have to go to college to be successful in life and college is an essential “life experience” and I wouldn’t change that experience either. Honestly, what I think I’m getting to is that everyone is different, everyone has different goals, values, etc. and therefore everyone has their own path. My belief as a future high school teacher is that it is my job to prepare my students the best I can to go into the real world. Whether that be college or not, I am still preparing them for life beyond high school. Some of the qualities Laszlo Bock lists as being most important in a potential hire are definitely the same qualities I want to instill in my students as preparation for life beyond school. He lists:
1. General cognitive ability - processing on the fly
2. Leadership - can you step up if need be
3. Humility and Ownership - intellectual humility, learning from failure
as qualities they look for at Google in a potential hire. I think these qualities hit the nail on the head for what every person needs to live a successful life. My favorite quote from the article read, “You need a big ego and a small ego in the same person at the same time.” I say, let's teach our students to be confident but humble, driven but willing to make mistakes, and focused but adaptable.
Friedman, T. (2014, February 22). How to Get a Job at Google. Retrieved November 20, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/opinion/sunday/friedman-how-to-get-a-job-at-google.html?_r=2
I have a lot of respect for anyone who can put themselves in someone else’s shoes for a profession and I think that’s what teachers have to do. We NEED to be thinking about the students all the time and with every lesson. I get it, it's easy to see yourself as the master while the students are the pupils but “the ones doing the work are the ones doing the learning.” If the teacher is the only one doing anything, whether that be explaining a concept, moving about the classroom, lecturing, etc. they are the ones who are going to learn the content, not the students. I think as a new teacher, I am maybe on the opposite side of the spectrum with this issue. I think I care too much about what the students think and if they are learning and engaged. It has given me the motivation to find activities that students have fun with and get up and DO the science. But I think there is a balance between doing what is fun and what needs to be done to understand a concept. That is what I love about the new Next Generation Science Standards. It does just that. It incorporates, modeling, arguing, researching, designing experiments, etc so the students are the ones in charge of creating their learning versus the teacher telling it to them. I cannot wait to start implementing some of these practices into my own classroom where I can use my sensitivity to students’ engagement in a positive way.
My favorite quote from this article read, “If I could go back and change my classes now, I would immediately dig deep into my personal experience as a parent where I found wells of patience and love I never knew I have, and call upon them more often when dealing with students who have questions. Questions are an invitation to know a student better and create a bond with that student. We can open the door wider or shut if forever, and we may not even realize we have shut it.” I think this is the truest of statements. My favorite part of being a teacher is being able to connect on a personal level with my students. I get so much of this through one-on-one interactions when students ask questions. When students are unafraid to say they are confused of admit they need help, that is when the most progress can be made and we, as teachers, cannot afford to discourage this. I want my students to know that this is a safe place to say what they need and it is my job to help them get there.
Wiggins, G. (2014, October 10). A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days - a sobering lesson learned. Retrieved November 20, 2015, from https://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/a-veteran-teacher-turned-coach-shadows-2-students-for-2-days-a-sobering-lesson-learned/
One of the quotes from Alan November that really caught my attention was, “Its more about the locus of control and how people relate to one another than trying to apply a thousand apps to a classroom.” It's not about how much technology you can use in the classroom but how you use it. I really liked how this video explores the question of “Who owns the learning?” It doesn’t question the use of technology because, at this point, it is inevitable, but it questions how to use it, how to make it relevant for a generation of digital natives.
Alan points to the idea that it's a time to rebalance the control of ownership of learning. This idea places the teacher in a more important role of facilitating and guiding that learning over transferring knowledge. Alan brings up a statistic from his own experience that states kids think 85-95% of their assignments are googleable. That is insane to me. It just shows that the transferring of knowledge and facts method has become obsolete in an age where almost everything is googleable. If this is true, then what else is there to learn, where do we go from here? Alan points to the idea of perspective. When you google something in America, you only get western sources and while most of our students are “digital natives” they look for whats easy and miss what millions of other voices have to say. We are missing what is going on in the rest of the world. One sided results are not acceptable anymore in an age where the world is at our fingertips. We have to guide students to find these other voices and show them how to make their own questions and own their learning.
Another quote that stuck with me, was when Alan said, “One of the most important skills in owning learning is what’s your quotient for global empathy? How much do you appreciate other points of view?” We need to show our students about critical thinking, about perspective, about global literacy. We have to get the culture right.
November, A. (2014, May 5). Alan November - Who Owns the Learning? Preparing Students for Success in the Digital Age. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOAIxIBeT90&list=PLbRLdW37G3oMquOaC-HeUIt6CWk-FzaGp&index=24