Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What to do, what to do?

I have to begin thinking about a final project for my class in digital literacy at the U and my obvious starting point is to start considering where the intersection between student engagement, standards, and digital media might be.  The connection is obvious in terms of digital media and student engagement...kids are obviously more engaged by the interactive digital environment.  But there are two issues that immediately come to mind -- one that relates to standards and another that relates to learning styles.

Regarding standards, I would love to do some work with taking a really close look at the secondary writing standards and considering how a more student-driven digital writing performance assessment compares with more traditional forms of essay work in regard to meeting the articulated standards.

The other issue, which lives inside of engagement and learning, has to do with the tension between digital zooming and the need for some folks to slow down to absorb information.  This relates to my own personal learning style in that I find that when I am using the internet for research, reading and writing I have a hard time slowing down and allowing my brain to engage in a meaningful way that allows reflection and absorption.  This is a cognitive issue for me personally.  Given the research that suggests that computer based activities increase student learning, how does that connect to my personal struggle to slow down when I'm speeding up?  I think this relates at least in part to flow as explored by Csikszentmihalyi.

For instance, my most enjoyable research moments have been when I am in the library with access to the physical journals that I am finding online.  This blend of physical and virtual research tools allows me to vary my pace and engage on different levels and with varying intensities.  One or the other alone has limiting elements.

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