16 Habits of Mind, Part 2

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This week I have chosen to return to some of the 16 Habits of Mind that try to change the academic conversation from what students are to what they can do.

Here are my thoughts on a few more of these habits as they relate to Web 2.0….

Responding with Wonderment and Awe

Some children and adults avoid problems and are “turned off” to learning. They make such comments as, “I was never good at these brain teasers”….Many people perceive thinking as hard work and therefore recoil from situations, which demand “too much” of it.

I hear “I’m not very good with computers” or “I’m slow with these new Internet things.” I hear them a LOT. Try to respond with wonderment, an open mind, and willingness to learn when you’re working with new technology. Your frustrations are valid, and what you’re feeling might be what you will encounter in a classroom (times 20) from students.

This can be hard when you just sent out your first tweet, only to realize you misspelled something. You can delete that post, but it’s already out there. Perhaps this is why more and more Web 2.0 tools have a draft option, where you can mess around privately with your text and images and scream at the screen until you have everything done to your satisfaction. Then, and only then, do you click “Publish” or “Share.”

So, yes, there is a lot covered in ENGL 3043. There are a lot of directions. The course materials can be hard to grasp, and the learning curve can be daunting. Approach it with awe, not terror. You will get up the mountain!

Image courtesy of Ars Electronica on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/arselectronica/7773544158/

Image courtesy of Ars Electronica on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/arselectronica/7773544158/

Thinking Interdependently

Problem solving has become so complex that no one person can go it alone. No one has access to all the data needed to make critical decisions; no one person can consider as many alternatives as several people can….Some students may not have learned to work in groups…Some students seem unable to contribute to group work either by being a “job hog” or conversely, letting others do all the work.

Group work, team projects, collaboration: whatever we call it, students tend to complain. “Can I just do it myself? I’ll do extra,” someone might ask me. Another might point out, “It’s not fair that my grade depends on those people who aren’t doing anything.” I think this is where the extremism in the quote comes into play. Students may hog the work, wanting it to be perfect, or just go with the flow and “forget” to do their part, knowing full well that Ms. Jobhog will complete it for fear of not getting an “A” on the project.

Respect others’ ideas. Listen to others’ ideas. If you are going into education or politics, you’ll find that it’s rare to make a big decision on your own.

Social media can help with group tasks. Tweet your partners with quick ideas or ways to divide the labor. Use Google Presentations or Prezi for a truly collaborative media project. Set up a wiki so everyone can add, edit, and move pages of information. When work can be done 24/7 online, the problem of never being able to find a good meeting time almost vanishes!

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