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The New Culture of
Learning

"It takes place without books, without teachers, and without classrooms, and it requires environments that are bounded yet provide complete freedom of action within those boundaries." (Thomas & Brown, 2011, p.18) 

      As I contemplated returning to school at the ripe old age of 49, it wasn't necessarily the delivery of the content I was concerned about but instead, my aging brain. After all, I have been teaching students for the last 18 years and nothing much had changed in the classroom for me. I taught the way I had been taught 30 years ago.  In a New Culture of Learning, Thomas and Brown (2011) describes traditional learning perfectly. "Information is transferred from one person (the teacher) to another (the student)(p.39) specifically when the content remains close to the same. I was the basin of knowledge and my students, the vessels. I was really only worried about two things, is my vessel still worthy to hold any new knowledge and will I be bored? My particular field of radiologic science has changed dramatically out in the field with all imaging systems now being driven my computers but the classroom was mostly the same barring a few little things like the students tested on computers instead of paper, etc.  The difference between how I teach and how I was taught had more to do with the entertainment I injected into the course (don't want them to be bored either) and not that the content, my courses specifically, is any different than the traditional lecturing that was done for me. Then, we test, as I also did so long ago. However, the content has changed dramatically because radiologic science is driven by the changes in technology. Still most of the educators in my program have remained mostly as lecturers. I think we may have an enduring problem here.

This is the strongest argument that I can make for switching to creating significant learning environments and utilizing elements in The New Culture of Learning. The technology is changing faster than the books can keep up. The problem is magnified when you consider the information is not just factually wrong but has become outdated (Thomas & Brown, 2011, p.46) This is how the authors described print work such as Encyclopedia Britannica as it compared to Wikipedia which is a living document as others continually review and update. This is the greatest problem of all in my field, outdated information. 

        I chose to get a degree in Applied Digital Technology because I was seeking to add technology to the classroom for the reasons I mentioned earlier. The imaging field is one revolving door of advances in technology. Learners can't be afraid as those changes occur, I didn't want my students to be stuck in the old ways as I have been for so many years.  I set out to discover if my brain could take it. I decided to google "continuous learning and the brain". I found myself down a rabbit-hole of quotes.  

              “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”                                                                                            ― William Butler Yeats

                   “The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.”

                                                                             —Herbert Spencer

Of note, these are not quotes from the 21st century, but rather from men who died in the early 1900s. Have I missed the mark as an educator for so many years already not "lighting a fire" for my students? Could I light a fire for myself? Could this program spring me to action? I did not know but I did hope. Spring forward to now, as I read the New Culture of Learning and realizing that the exact issue is how we don't use the innate abilities of our brain to be curious and  utilize voluminous resources to light a fire.  We must shift from a model of teaching that centers around the teacher to one that instead centers around the learner. (Harapniuk, 2015). I needed to flesh out a plan of action using these new strategies. Who, what, why, when, and how? What are the challenges, what will the transformation look like? How can we convince the majority on board? What are the real advantages? 

Please join my exploration of this book, The New Culture of Learning, and how I can apply the ideas to my innovation plan and transform the experience of the next generation of radiologic technologists. 

        Contents

Slide 2-Innovation Plan

Slide 3-New Culture of Learning

Slide 4-Challenges

Slide 5-Solutions

Slide 6-Impact

Slide 7-Applying strategies from the theory

Slide 8-Establishing a Foundational Perspective

Slide 9-Summary

Slide 10-References

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