Learning; I Feel Everything

Ever since taking FDS’s Future Skills PD last spring (thanks @lmcbeth for the lasting ideas), I’ve been caught on this idea of who I design for. Who is my user? What am I creating and who needs it? I’ve been working more at thinking like my students, trying hard to figure out how they see what I present. I think most of my teaching career has been spent trying to explain to students what I meant the first time. I know I need a different approach.

On Saturday, during my first Cohort21 Face-2-Face, I started to think about myself as the user. How was I interacting with the program? What facets were easy for me to use, which components were challenging, and most importantly – how was I learning? I realised early on that I already knew how to do most of the physical stuff (tweets, blog set up etc) and that made me feel pretty comfortable.  It got me wondering about my students – how much of what I do in the classroom feels good for them because they already know how to do it? I feel successful when they follow direction but is it really my instruction that leads them there or is it the reality that maybe they already knew what to do?

I started to focus on what was hard about Saturday. Choosing a movie with others was hard. For real. I do not like The Holy Grail. Spent most of my teens and 20’s actively avoiding it. I found it hard to hold back my Holy Grail venom in the face of new and lovely colleagues. I was judgmental, I was irritated. I was ELATED when our group finally shifted towards Shawshank Redemption.

I was overwhelmed by how much I felt. All day, I noticed my own contained but decidedly emotional reactions to the state of learning. Everything had some shade of emotion attached to it.

Is this why Bitmojis are so effective? Because they convey emotion?

I feel nothing

Read 2 comments

  1. @echellew I think you nail it. Communication, Learning, Connecting is ALL relational and emotional. We learn best when we FEEL the most. I think bitmoji’s bring emotion back the email conversation and let you know there is a human on the other end. So often words are misinterpreted, tone missed or presumed and sometimes we just read it all wrong. A well placed bitmoji can diffuse almost any email. It probably why I almost never send an email without one 🙂

    @gnichols @ckirsh @ddoucet @lmcbeth

  2. Thanks for this Erica – I surfaced this during the “Favorite Movie” exercise, asking our participants to reflect on how attached they were to their own selection and that if you were attached, think of how students might be attached to preconceived understandings and how hard it might be to let some of that go. Your reflection points to the hard moments of empathizing with your students so that their education doesn’t happen “to” them, but ‘with’ them!

    Love that your here with us this year!

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