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Recent Comments on Public Documents

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Nov 29

this is such a good point. being interested in art myself, and have always had an interest in it- it was so difficult to find educational support for pursuing those interests. I was also told it was only a “hobby” and it would never amount to anything because it wasn’t math, science, or technology-based, essentially not 21st century enough. It wasn’t until I was able to gain some independence and pursue this interest for myself in college. not all interests that students have will be based in video games, or computers, or engineering. that doesn’t make those interests any less valid and more artistic and creative inclinations need to be just as valued and celebrated.

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Nov 29

An important design consideration is that while technology is ubiquitous in work and play, not all technology or access to technology is equal. As we saw during the pandemic, we had students who tried to complete their semester from their cell phones because they did not have reliable internet on their second-hand laptops. Furthermore, we had instructors who lacked the comfort with LMSs who tried to conduct instruction via email rather than learn how to post an assignment online. These barriers disproportionally hurt under-represented students. While the technology is a valuable tool, the onus should be on instructors and institutions to ensure that students have equitable access to the tools they need to be successful. It is also worth noting that an affinity network does not have to be an online environment, and in some instances could be of more value taken back into the “real world.”

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Nov 29
In community college, she took a ceramics class just for fun, but her professor recognized her interest and skill and encouraged her to join a group of students who make pottery and sell it in the school’s craft fair. She never thought about selling her work prior to this and never had the connections to do so. She ended up making more money than she envisioned and now sells pottery as a side gig. It is important for us as educators to be that bridge, especially for young students who may not realize that their interests and talents can help them in both academic and professional settings.

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Nov 29

My university, like many, is exploring ways to improve student’s sense of belonging as a means to improve retention. However, many of the ways the university is pursuing an increased sense of belonging is through “traditional” forms of belonging, such as increasing residence life activities and attendance to sporting events. As the authors discuss later in this chapter, that while these traditional initiatives increase a multi-generational bond, they still fail to reach those students who are not driven by sports or the arts or who do not live on campus. For campuses to truly succeed in outreach, they are going to need to be open to different activities than they may recognize as valuable.

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Nov 29

For as much as we discuss being a community of learners, many of these discussions are still framed in a transfer/acquisition model, where the instructors are the experts and are solely responsible for connecting students to the affinity network that “matches” their curriculum. This book sheds light on what young people are doing independent of the “deposits” instructors are making in their academic banks. The idea of being more intentional with the design of curriculum around affinity networks will only be as successful as educators are willing to relinquish some of the control and be open-minded to the untapped expertise within their own classrooms.

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Nov 28

There have to be ways we can combine formal schooling with more free time. Allowing the children to have free time to explore their interests is the only way to combat this. This can’t be done solely as an extracurricular. It needs to be integrated into the student’s day.

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Nov 28

In order for parents and other concerned adults to find and make these connected learning experiences opportunities for success in careers, civics or academics, we have to actually be present in these online worlds and utilize them for our own success as well. If our own children see us utilizing these connections they will be able to take that leap themselves.

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Nov 28

As a parent, I am trying to understand/recognize the difference of when my children are neglecting other duties in their life and wasting time online and when they are actively engaged online and creating or learning. It’s easy to just see them sitting there, looking lazy, and get annoyed that they aren’t doing something that looks productive.

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Nov 28

I was amazed by the access and support Tal had and received from family, peers, and teachers. Although this kind of opportunity is not common in the type of environment I personally have encountered, I am glad to be informed about the existence of this type of learning. I want to show similar support in some ways to my students for a powerful learning experience.

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Nov 28

This chapter mentioned some of the 4 C’s of 21st Learning Skills such as creativity, bonding, and collaboration. These important skills could be formed through online affinity networks and where they could take an individual to. Although these skills are essential, I would like to add that it is also intimidating not fully understanding every aspect of online affinity.

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Nov 28

Reading the paragraph under “The Digital Culture Generation Gap,” made me appreciate having seen those who flourish in online communities. Their stories equipped me to supportive of those who have different interests although I may not know how to navigate the whole online world.

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Nov 28

For me this is a hugely important point, and one that was trying to be addressed at the collegiate level. However, that point has been hijacked as a political bad word (for both sides) without even trying to understand the points raised. That bad word (or phrase in this case) is Critical Race Theory. Equity includes examining structural issues to access, achieve, and pass down social and material capital. Equity demands that we examine the areas where non-democratic, non-equal, and non-allowed practices have been allowed to grow. Red Lining is a huge example for me growing up in suburban Detroit. Minority students were not just minority for me growing up, they were almost non-existent. It was not until I joined the military and saw the rest of the world that I truly appreciated the depth and beauty of all the different cultures that surround us. These affinity networks can provide access, but if that access has a gatekeeper, or a silo that keeps us from it, do they really help everyone? Is Equity even on the radar for the corporations that control Web2.0? Will Web3.0 actually be any different, or just have a different set of corporate overlords? I do not know, but I know that access is unequal now.

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Nov 28

I mean you can create an account to make Scratch with open-source code and share it on the site. One can search the scratch using keywords and search bar. Also, people can search and play scratch without registering an account. SO I wonder if the number could possibly be smaller or larger.

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Nov 28

Cultural relevance also can mean prestige in your local community, and I would hope the world at large. However, we often hold affinity links as lesser prestige or niche instances. Everyone wants to be a pop star, a football player, or Steve Jobs, because those are high prestige positions (including the work to get there), however, very few people want to be a teacher, or an auditor, or a plumber as these jobs do not carry the social capital that the others do. Perhaps we need to reframe prestige around the good you can do for others, not just for yourself. Perhaps the best point around social networks for affinity groups is that you gain the prestige within those networks, and need not have it as much in your real life. I would hope this would, at some point, bleed over and change how we approach niche jobs.

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Nov 28

Another approach could be a more flipped learning day, where the homework is to watch/read/learn the basic concepts. Then, the next day, utilize those concepts in the classroom, through games or other affinity links, and allow the students (especially at younger ages) to play with them in a more free-form way. The major problem with this approach is that there is no testable (and thus easily statistically marketable) way to know achievement is happening. If we looked at learning as a life-course rather than individual years this might be offset. Still, play often creates more lasting memories, with often happier tags anchoring them in memory.

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Nov 28

This is an interesting point, but I agree with it 100%. Without student interest, there wouldn’t be as much engagement and excitement about learning. When an environment is interest-based, students are more likely to engage in content and with each other. That’s where the sense of community forms.

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Nov 28

I could absolutely see this being a HUGE learning curve for a lot of educators, especially those that have been teaching 10+ years. Yes, technology is rapidly changing, but not all educators have the time to explore all tech at a deeper level, and often don’t know where to start. How can we support this generation gap?

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Nov 28

Throughout this book, this has been a recurring theme. As educators, we want to create these links between in-home gameplay and in-school learning. The key though is HOW we create these connections. In a school like Quest to Learn, these opportunities are more accessible due to the structure of the school. In a gen ed class, however, it’s important to make time for students to form connections between home and school, and this can be supported with online affinity spaces, genius hour, and PBLs.

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Nov 27

Más joven que yo y todo lo que hizo en su tiempo de vida. ¿Cómo aprovecharemos nuestro tiempo? ¿Cómo mediremos el éxito?

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Nov 27

Since joining this conversation a few years ago I’ve begun collecting links to articles about digital access. I share them on this concept map.http://tinyurl.com/TMI-DigitalDivide-Issues

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Nov 27

Let’s hope that new money focused on digital access for people in remote and high poverty areas will make a difference.

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Nov 27

I’ve posted articles almost weekly at"http://tutormentor.blogspot.com":http://tutormentor.blogspot.com since 2005 and almost daily on Twitter since 2011 that focus on inequality.

I’ve found an ebb and flow of interest among too many others. They get tired of the conversation and move on, far too soon. It will take many years of consistent effort by many people to see significant changes.

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Nov 27

The advantages offered by more affluent communities to kids vs what kids in poorer areas have is something I’ve focused on for many years.

I join groups like #clmooc because they demonstrate ways people from many places can share ideas.

I point to such groups with the goal that a greater number of people concerned about inequities would gather in similar groups.

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Nov 27

Since I joined this conversation a few years ago I’ve connected with the Christensen Institute who is doing some interesting work about relationships and social capital in education. Here’s one article.https://www.christenseninstitute.org/blog/how-gaps-in-social-capital-research-are-holding-us-back-and-what-to-do-about-it/?_sf_s=social+capital

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Nov 27

I think it is vital to weigh both the positive and negative attributes to online interactions.

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Nov 27

Values are placed on similar things regardless of socioeconomic status.

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Nov 27

I appreciate this sentence because the cases studied are centered on youth interests.

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Nov 25

Here is an excerpt from Alfred North Whitehead that is at the heart of education:

I appeal to you, as practical teachers. With good discipline, it
is always possible to pump into the minds of a class a certain quantity
of inert knowledge. You take a text-book and make them learn it. So
far, so good. The child then knows how to solve a quadratic equation.
But what is the point of teaching a child to solve a quadratic
equation? There is a traditional answer to this question. It runs thus:
The mind is an instrument, you first sharpen it, and then use it; the
acquisition of the power of solving a quadratic equation is part of the
process of sharpening the mind. Now there is just enough truth in this
answer to have made it live through the ages. But for all its halftruth, it embodies a radical error which bids fair to stifle the genius
of the modern world. I do not know who was first responsible for this
analogy of the mind to a dead instrument. For aught I know, it may have
been one of the seven wise men of Greece, or a committee of the whole
lot of them. Whoever was the originator, there can be no doubt of the
authority which it has acquired by the continuous approval bestowed
upon it by eminent persons. But whatever its weight of authority,
whatever the high approval which it can quote, I have no hesitation in
denouncing it as one of the most fatal, erroneous, and dangerous
conceptions ever introduced into the theory of education. The mind is
never passive; it is a perpetual activity, delicate, receptive,
responsive to stimulus. You cannot postpone its life until you have
sharpened it. Whatever interest attaches to your subject-matter must be
evoked here and now; whatever powers you are strengthening in the
pupil, must be exercised here and now; whatever possibilities of mental
life your teaching should impart, must be exhibited here and now. That
is the golden rule of education, and a very difficult rule to follow."

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Nov 25

If you haven’t already, you need to read Matthew Dicks’, Storyworthy. He has a different and very useable take on what is central: “the big moments are all about the little moments.”

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