Digital Media- New Learners in the 21st Century

The story that I chose to focus on from the video was the first one about “Quest to Learn.” I chose this one because it is all about helping the digital learners and teaching students in different ways, other than the traditional lecture and textbook based style. 

One thing that I really enjoyed from Quest to Learn is that they call all the different subjects by non-traditional names, like math is “Codewords.”  I thought this was really cool because it makes learning more fun for the students and they are not constantly thinking, “oh it’s time to go to math,” but instead are thinking “ooo, time for me to go to codewords!” (Or at least that’s what I would be like!)

In Quest to Learn, students are invested a lot more in their education and are directing their own learning, instead of relying completely on the teacher. While I recognize that this would not work in a traditional school and classroom with all students, I think that this is a great way to get students more invested in learning because they actually want to work on what they chose to work on. The aspect of Game Design really helps to bring in the “fun” aspect for students who wouldn’t want to go to school on a daily basis.  Quest to learn gives very structured guidelines in creating the games and what they must entail, but when assessment time comes around, the teacher is not always 100% sure on what they are going to get back from the students.  Students have to think ahead on what they want their game to look like and also make sure that they include everything that needs to be included.

Incorporating Game Design into a lesson would be really cool to try. It wouldn’t work for every lesson, but I would love to have a project where guidelines are given, but the rest is up to the students.  I feel that this game design piece would really help to draw in many students who are not usually into math, and help them to see that math can be fun!

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My favorite math blog!

The blog I chose to read for the assignment was called dy/dan. Dan is a high school math teacher and tries many different things to make math interesting to students who don’t like math.  He takes many activities and turns them into something fun that is also educational so you can use it in the classroom.  One of my favorite activities that he started was called the “money duck.” It featured a duck made out of soap that had money in the middle of it.  The bill inside the soap could be $1, $5, $10, $20 or EVEN $50.  Image

So it seems pretty cool right? Buy some soap and get money back for it? Well, what is the probability that you will get a $50 or even a $20 bill? Is the soap worth it to buy or will you always end up with a $1 bill? This activity was really interesting to me because of all the new “prize candles” and “diamond candle” schemes that are popping up all over the internet.  How many $50 bars of soap can the company afford to make and still be making a profit? How would a teacher incorporate this “money duck” into a lesson and make it relevant to the curriculum? 

The reason that I liked Dan’s blog was because he presented the problem and asked people to comment back on the post about how they would try and incorporate this into their own lesson, before he gave how he incorporated it.  Dan also included many videos and lesson ideas and also “featured” other blogger’s comments on his future posts.

“dy/dan” was a great blog and I have subscribed to keep trying to get new ideas for sometime in the future when I can incorporate these fun ideas into a classroom of my own!