DIY Learning COVID-19
12:54PM Jul 29, 2020
To the allows for muscle formation. Well, learning is really the same thing if you think about it because the brain is also a muscle. In practice, in school during class, you really want to focus, you really want to concentrate and the greater your concentration, the more you'll reflect the more your self reflect, when you go home. And this is kind of self reflection that allows the building of smarter connections. So, self assessment, and self reflection, are fundamental to the learning process. So what is deliberate practice. And why don't we consider the dominant form of learning today. The practice has three components. The first component is to define your learning objectives and your learning goals in a concrete precise and measurable way, second component is to develop learning strategies in order to achieve your objectives in your goals. The third and most important component is constant self reflection. Are your strategies, helping you achieve your learning goals. Why, why not. And if wine, any if, why not, if they're not helping you achieve your goals. Then why are you not reformulating your strategies. Now, if this sounds familiar. It should be familiar. The reason why is that the practice is really the application of assignment process to learning, and that's what makes it so effective.
Why can't and everything talks a lot about, is that
what really drives learning what really drives self reflection is the idea of intrinsic motivation. But unfortunately, because of the idea of the 10,000 hour rule our schools aren't structured around self reflection, they're not really structured around giving kids, the autonomy and the space, in order for them to self reflect. And the beauty of coronavirus why coronavirus has been, it can be a blessing for us is that it gives us the opportunity to we imagine learning, we imagine a school system so that intrinsic motivation autonomy and self reflection, are built into their learning process.
So, the idea of interesting motivation. It's really key to learning online. And let me use the example of China to illustrate why, as we all know, China was really the first country to lock down a school system, and to transition learning online. And for the most part, this transition has been fairly seamless. And that's been seamless for three distinct reasons. First of all, Chinese parents are heavily invested in their children's education. So parents will actually support their kids learning at home. Second, is that for the past 10 years. Chinese school leaders have been very focused on developing a global edtech system, so that when coronavirus hit, they're able to activate this system and transition learning online, very effectively. The third reason is that the Chinese school system system is mainly focused on teaching knowledge and facts, which is fairly easy to do online. To illustrate how successful this transition has been has been let me tell you a joke. That was circulating on the internet, way back in March of this year, a joke was like this third grader was sitting at home doing an online math class. Her mother was sitting beside her in their apartment, making sure the class went really well. The girl who the third grade girl was engaging in conversation with her math teacher. Suddenly there's some noise upstairs and the upstairs apartment. Someone's shopping. So, and that's instructing the girl. So the mother being a very virtuous very hands on Chinese mother, she runs upstairs and knocks on the door, and she says to her upstairs neighbor. Listen, I'm really sorry to interrupt you, but my third grade daughter is doing a math class downstairs. Could you please keep it quiet and the upstairs neighbor says to her. Oh, I'm really sorry to my daughter is now doing an online gym class, and she has to skip rope. So that illustrates how successful this process has been at the same time, it's revealed to us, a fundamental feeling of the school system in China, namely that it's structured around extrinsic motivation. So from grades, one until University, 50 kids sit in a classroom in China, and they compete for the attention and for the praise of their teachers. And this system of motivation, it's effective in focusing the attention and the energies of these students. This system breaks down online. So let me give you two examples to illustrate this. Um, during coronavirus teachers wanted kids to do homework. And so, overs. It's worth downloading with downloading homework apps from app stores, what the kids figured out is that if they actually went to these app stores and downloaded. These homework apps. These homework apps will be automatically removed from the store, which meant no homework for the kids. The other thing that the kids were doing was figuring out which materials which textbooks. The teachers were using. Were a pirate. And then going to companies, which copyrights were being infringed and reporting.
The pirating to them. And then the companies would launch, formal complaints against these teachers, which led to teachers being locked out, or shut down from their online platforms. So that gives you an example of how much more agile and much more adept at navigating online world, students are than their teachers. The reality is that, in, in the classroom, students cannot rebel. But in the online world, students are very good rebelling, they have 10,000 ways to the shop learning, and to piss off their teachers. So, what this tells us is that in the online world, we need to reimagine and rebuild our school system so that students are interested, motivated and they're engaged and focused throughout their learning process.
So, how can we get kids to be intrinsically motivated learners, online. To answer this question, let me ask another question. Why is it that kids around the world. They love playing video games, they can spend hours and hours doing it. But they all hate homework. They all complain and nag about it. The answer is in three components. Up autonomy challenge, and feedback. Autonomy means that kids, choose to play video games. Whereas, they're forced to do homework. Challenge means that video games will tap the challenge to the ability of students. Video games will figure out the individual ability of the students design challenges around the students. Whereas, with homework, it's a one size fits all model. So it's so for the very best students is very boring, but for students who need extra help. It can be too challenging and feedback means that while playing video games, students are receiving instantaneous feedback, which helps them improve. And they enjoy the process of self improvement with homework. There's no feedback. So kids don't know how they're doing. And so my argument is that if we are to transition to an online learning model, during a time of coronavirus. We need to incorporate these three elements autonomy challenge, and feedback into the learning process. We need to ensure that students. Children are the masters of their own learning and their own destiny. And what I want to argue now what I want to show and illustrate, is we're going to achieve this, with the learning journal. So let me now explain what the learning journal is and how to go about implementing it.
Here's the idea of the learning journal yourself learning, during coronavirus ask the students. What do you want to learn. Do you want to learn how to cook Thai food. Do you wanna learn how to drive a car. Do you want to learn how to run a marathon. Do you want to learn how to do Brazilian jujitsu. Do you want to learn a new programming language. Do you want to learn Swahili. Does it matter. Let the kid, let the student decide, his or her own learning
It's not important what the student is learning. What's important is how the student learns as teachers, we can ask our students to do a daily journal of the learning process, and this is what we call the learning journal. The Learning journal has three components. The first component is the student has to be able to define precisely. And in a measurable way what his or her learning objectives are. So let me give you an example of this is better for the students say, I want to run a marathon in less than four hours, rather than to say, I want to finish first in a marathon. The second component of the learning journal is to write down the learning process for learning strategy. Learning Plan. Think of this as a cooking recipe, where you go step by step on how you will achieve your goal. The third and most important component is for a student to collect data and engage in self reflection and self analysis and discuss ways he or she can improve. Now, what's really important to remember is that a teacher does not leave the learning process. The teacher becomes a much more important part of the learning process rather than direct learning. The teacher becomes a facilitator and a mentor, and the teacher has three major roles. The first role is to encourage and motivate the student. It's very easy in the beginning to be motivated and be passionate. But over time, this passion wanes. It's very important for the teacher to help the student, stay motivated, second role of the teacher is to look at the learning journal and provide her specific feedback and identify problem areas or weaknesses, so that the student can engage in much more precise, much more accurate, self reflection. And the third and most important role of a teacher is to constantly suggest new learning strategies. Now as human beings. It's very easy for us to become to focus on a goal and objective. If we want to run a marathon, we think, Oh, all we have to do is run a lot, every day, and what she thought goal, and our passion can sometimes make us too narrow minded. It's really the job of the teacher to make a step back and ask ourselves questions about our learning strategy. Have you tried lifting weights. Have you tried switching your sleep patterns. Have you tried switching your diet. Have you tried running with a friend. And these learning strategies will help us engage in much more deep self reflection, and also help us imagine our learning in a much more productive and efficient manner.
Here, I want to give you three examples of the learning journal. And these examples are fairly easy to do. verstraete for, and they can be done in a short duration. One week to one month. And think of these learning journal examples as basically training wheels for learning how to run a run up like they'll get you started, they'll teach you the process of how to engage in effective learning, and they'll motivate you to be more effective learners. So these three examples are this. Um, have kids, engage in a fiscal challenge. For example, maybe say you're fighting burpees in an hour. And what's really useful about this sort of activity is helps kids better understand data collection, it's fairly easy and straightforward to collect data helps kids. Um, figure out how to use data in a much more effective manner. Second example is for kids to learn a board game, and whether it's chess, or maybe poker. I'm working on. I like a lot. It's called Hearthstone battlegrounds. It's a video game. It's free to download from Blizzard Activision, and the beauty of learning a board game is that there are communities. There's their communities. That, that have risen. Out of these board games, and these communities are very good at teaching you how to master these board games. So for example, with Hearthstone. There are many very good players who live stream, their games online. And what they do online, is that not only do they play the games, they talk about the strategies they talk a lot about how they think about the game. They're constantly self reflecting. That's a very good habit for our students to pick up. The other great thing about Hearthstone in other video games is that it's fairly easy to track your improvement. They have a ranking system. And the more you listen to live streams. The more you self reflect the higher you climb in the rankings. The third learning journal activity that kids can start, start with right away is learning how to cook, or bake. And the beauty of learning how to cook or bake is that it enables you to self diagnose fairly accurately. If you read a poem, it could be very bad but you would never know. Because we as human beings are very adept at lying to ourselves, but if you pick a really bad meal. Your senses will tell you that it's really bad, and it will cause you to suffer flak and to improve your cooking.
Let's talk about assessment. How do we know if the learning journal activity has been effective at teaching students meta learning strategies, and how do we know if the learning journal has helped the students actually learn the activity. Well, as an educator, what I've discovered is that the best way to assess how Washington has learned is to ask him or her to teach the material himself or herself. So my suggestion is to have the students do a five minute YouTube video. As an output. And the five minute YouTube video. The content is the students, sharing his or her learning journey and encouraging and teaching other people how to learn his or her new skill. And this is great because one. It's a lot of fun. Students can be very creative in how they produce the videos, and to help consolidate learning. Because to communicate effectively, they need to reflect deeply on the learning process. And three, they're getting active immediate feedback from the peers, which also deepens self reflection.
Now that I've discussed the learning journal. Now that I've shared the science behind the learning journal. What I like to do now is discuss how we as community can promote and advance the learning journal and promote an advanced teaching of meta learning strategies in schools, so that all children benefit. And here I want to suggest three possible ways we can cooperate. The first is, if we together. Develop a website, a learning journal community where everyone is sharing his or her learning journal learning journey and getting feedback and advice from peers. Think of this as really a database of learning, journals, second possible way to collaborate is based on this database of learning, journals, we can co develop a learning app that students can use on their mobile phones, which tracks the progress of his or her learning and offers real time, advice, and feedback. The third possible way we can collaborate, is to design mental learning courses online for teachers, and for students. And these online courses can be the template can be a rubric for a new model of learning in schools. We're all hackers, all committed to using our expertise to help them better the world. I think that coronavirus has presented us this amazing opportunity this wonderful opportunity to remake reimagine and rebuild education for the better, so that our schools become places of creativity of learning, and our students are you able to thrive in this new world. Thank you very much and I look forward to your questions and to maintaining. I'm in close contact over the next few weeks the next few months next few years. This is, this will be a very long journey. But I think that if we all work together, we will make tremendous strides and making our school systems. Much better.
Fast a presentation thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on the education system. We've had a tremendous set of questions in the matrix chat and we have maybe close to 10 minutes try to work through as many as we can. I think maybe I'll start with requests for further information is there a website or a white paper, or how many people sort of follow up on some of the things that you've been speaking about
the learning journal is an idea I've been playing with for the past few months because of coronavirus. Um, I haven't really worked out fully I have, but I would love to start engaging hackers to community and see if we can build a prototype or figure out how to best advance ideas. So the best way to call them any contact me is over Twitter. I'm very active on Twitter. Um, and, you know, hopefully, we can start engaging each other and figure out how to best carry this idea forward.
Excellent. Thanks very much. That's a, that's a great offer for collaboration for those that would like to be a little more involved. Um, there's a question about some of the differences in how participation is treated so and I don't know if it's the same in China or not. In the US, we have this tendency of what we sometimes call a participation trophy trophy so the idea is that this for kids. The idea is that every kid gets a trophy every kid wins. And of course that's a positive reinforcement there's no doubt about that. What's your view on that versus, you know, a more traditional approach of having, you know winners and losers in first place second place third place
right so I'm from from what I want to know from my research, both systems are automatic participation trophies are part of the self esteem movement and Keller Dwight, a Stanford psychologist who wrote the book mindset. She's done decades of research in showing the flaws of the self esteem movement, basically. Kids don't like self esteem, kids don't like participation trophies they see it as condescending they says belittling, and it discourages them it's very counterproductive rankings and competition is extremely unhealthy for kids, it destroys intrinsic motivation, it destroys curiosity destroys creativity destroys collaboration, the authority here would be Mahalia Jackson Haley, who wrote a book called flow, FL o w, but it but he's a leading expert on creativity and how creativity is driven by intrinsic motivation and how we need to avoid addition rankings. So science here is pretty clear. Both the self esteem movement and rankings are deeply flawed, and we need to focus more on intrinsic motivation. I think the bigger issue here is that never in human history have adults, taking such control over the lives of children. Right. I mean, I'm just I'm president. You know we have participation trophies. We have competitions because this is what parents demand is that like kids want is what parents demand. Another example homework, you know, never before in human history has children been inundated with so much homework, we've seen no evidence by the way that homework actually improves learning. But parents want it, so we give them homework, so So right now, the education system around the world is doing by Carol demand, rather than the needs of children. Well that's fascinating so
do you. Would you be against or would you be against for example sports in general, like like things where competition is sort of built in to the, to the activity.
Well, it depends on the age group. When children are young, I would be or I would be against organized sports I believe that playing is fatal to children's neurological development, and there's a lot of science, neuroscience that demonstrates this um you know I have a two and a half year old, and we just don't play every day. It's incredible, the creativity. He expressed his just play, so I feel that you know for young children to organize play unorganized play is such a vital component of children's neurobiological development. I think that organized sports is something that they can move on to when they hit your teenage years but that's, but I think before 12 years old, I would discourage organized sports.
Yeah, thank you. So a question that didn't come up in the chat but it just occurred to me. Bullying is really a big issue and a lot of that comes from play, and then comes from. As you say comes from you know it takes place during play and takes place during organized sports right takes place in the classroom. You feel like a gift. And I know this wasn't your main topic but do you feel like emphasis on creativity might decrease bullying or give. Yeah,
so, so we have pretty compelling evidence that bullying is a result of stress from from from adults, right. So, so, you know, when parents when adults, expect children to perform. They become very stressed and they take out their stress on other children, but it usually took a loan, they don't bully each other. We have very compelling evidence that just leads to no loan, they go on very very, very well.
That's that's great i think that's that's informative for people that are looking at how to handle these situations. We had a question about basically sort of copyright and and how that's handled. I think we were all everyone was entertained by the notion of the schoolchildren taking down apps and getting rid of the homework that way and that's, that's a great half, I think I think hackers on planet Earth is encouraging that approach, but at the same time, it's a little confusing because that's, that would be. That'd be perceived as copyright or sort of a more severe issue, we think in the US, how is that different outset sort of regime of property ownership and control, may be a little different,
right. So, I mean China subscribes to the same set of international copyright norms as United States right. The issue is one of enforcement. The United States has very strict regimes in place. China does not, in fact, you can make the argument that China has gotten very wealthy, because China was able to use a lot of pirated technology from from the west right and that's really the source of the US, China, conflict. Right now, the US, US demanding China better enforce copyright and stop stealing intellectual property. So the issue here is one of enforcement right I'm trying to subscribe to the same laws but China does have an enforcement regime enforcement is a lot easier to do online and it is offline right because in the classroom you don't have a public record, whereas online, you do have a public record, and then that's why we're seeing a surge in students reporting on on teachers and companies you know whose copyrighted art infringed obviously have a vested interest in enforcing. These copyright infringement.
Yeah, so it's different, but it sounds like some of the laws at least are similar. I've got a question about endorphin simulation I wonder if you can comment on that. Particularly, play versus online games online learning these types of things.
Right, so, um, scientists have right now look at four sources of chemicals hormones that motivate people right endorphins is when you get when you run a lot right physical exertion. You have dopamine as well as well. You have oxytocin a toxin, and serotonin. Okay, so these are the four chemicals that drive motivation. And what we know is that online games and offline games, activate different parts of the brain system right so online games primarily activate dopamine system, which is linked with cocaine use right so the more you use. That's why online gaming is so addictive offline gaming it depends on the game use but it's more endorphins serotonin it's much more healthy chemicals and that's why that's why it's because of physical touch right it's physical touch that activates these serotonin and oxytocin chemicals hormones. And that's why we recommend for children, especially for children, it's so important for them to engage in outside play, especially activities that involve physical touch right just just any sort of roughhousing with what would help them.
Or, to what extent to those chemicals feed into the creativity process, or just creativity.
Question, again, the science not clear, but we suspect that double mean it, and creativity are actually in conflict, we believe that serotonin and oxytocin are more aligned with creativity, and that's a drive creativity, serotonin is more about lifelong personal relationships, and we know that it's very heavily connected with creativity, doesn't mean it's more about extrinsic rewards right so if you score 100 on a math test, you got this surge of dopamine. But what we've discovered is that I thought I should conflicts with the brand's creative systems. So, but again the science is not clear about this but but what we do know is that the more time we play with each other in games offline. The more creative we become, and the more we played video games online, the less creative we become, that's what we're back right now. Wow.
Yeah, that's a that's a start and it's you say that the research is still emerging but this is what we're seeing.
This is no science, this is neuroscience that actually the chemicals, how they interplay with each other and how that dress creativity, I mean it's still up in the air right now.
Okay, and then to make sure we understand I think what you're saying there is that the,
what really is a downside online gaming also applies to online learning.
Mark lost. I've lost connectivity that
just merely lose connectivity.
It just made me lose.
I got cut off. Um,
yeah. Thank you. Yeah. Can you hear my question it was it's really a last question and I think it's, um, last question is whether what you're really saying is research makes it seem like the negative side of online gaming and the addictive characteristics and the neuro chemical characteristics. These are the same types of outcomes with online learning.
Yeah, so, um, I mean first of all people play a lot more online games they do online learning, right. So, We have seen no evidence that online learning actually benefits, kids with evidence is is online learning actually helps with teacher training. So if you're a teacher and you're looking for new pedagogical practices if you're looking to upgrade your knowledge that online learning is great it's something that you can do intrinsically by yourself. But with online learning what what's really important is to ensure that kids are interesting motivated and they're not being forced to do it. Otherwise it's actually nope no benefit we have I've seen no evidence that online learning, benefits, students, they've been the teachers actually more than 100 students
is fascinating unfortunately we're at the end of our time. We'll have to wrap up. I really appreciate you joining us I enjoyed your presentation. There's a lot of tremendous response and input on these topics and because education is such a topic that's near and dear to all of us we all went through the system and we all like it to be better. Thoughts yeah it's not not an overstatement to say that it's everything. Well, thanks again have a super loss of the hope and I do hope they have further communication via Twitter and elsewise to work on this learning journal concept.
Great, thank you so much. Bye. Bye.
Hey everybody, I'm Kyle. I'm a manual.
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