Tearing Down the Wall of Change

In his video on motivating the learner’s of today, John Seely Brown urged us as educators and people to “Embrace change, don’t run from it.” This statement can serve as the tagline for the 5 Cs of change as highlighted in the article, “Navigating the Cs of Change” by J. Gregory McVerry, Lisa Zawilinski, and W. Ian O’Byrne.

In today’s world, students have so many distractions available to them in the forms of video games, new technology, social media, streaming TV, as well as plenty of others. This inadvertently pulls the student away from conquering new challenges and pigeon holes them into a self-made cocoon. When a student has difficulty with a task for class, they are more likely to take out their phone and find a distraction to take their mind off the task at hand. At home, if they have that same difficulty, they can plug right in to their video game console or streaming TV service to avoid having to face this challenge.

As educators in this new age of leveraging content in our classes, we need to embrace this change and motivate our students to tackle these changes head on. We can do this by placing students in situations where they can be creative and think critically, such as creating a blog that represents their identity and provide a weekly reflection on what they learned. In the same process students will display their comprehension of class material through these reflections, fostering the opportunity for classmates to communicate through commenting on blog posts and being accepting of others’ viewpoints. In turn this creates a social learning community in a collaborative setting where all students are working together to achieve the common goal: be the best student he/she can be and knock defeat the game that is change.

-John V


2 thoughts on “Tearing Down the Wall of Change

  1. I agree that students resort to entertaining themselves with their devices when they are over-challenged. In any classroom there will always be a mix if ability levels and it is difficult to teach to everyone in a traditional manner. I think the methods of instruction you described here would allow teachers the opportunity to individualize and personalize learning for their students.


  2. The blog looks great. Very informative…and inviting.

    I’m intrigued by your comment about the students drawing into a “coccon” with their devices and not wanting to reach out to learn and be literate with others. That seems to be a trap that we can get caught in. We’re doing work to encourage others to get involved…and use digital texts and tools…but at the same time we need to teach them (and ourselves) balance to put them down at times.


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