This is my final post wrapping up my learning project for ECMP355.
By learning to play chess, I learned a lot about learning (that makes sense, right?) What I mean is that I’m taking away so much more than knowledge of playing a game. I rediscovered a lot about the actual process of learning. I don’t remember the last time that I consciously learned and developed a new skill. Especially as teachers, I know that we are constantly learning and growing, but it is something else entirely to concentrate on learning one particular skill. I’m not getting any younger, and I’m sure it helps to keep the mind sharp to learn a new skill or game every once in a while!
I was stuck in the substitution and augmentation levels in my journey learning to play chess. Yeah, I was using technology, but not in a way that greatly benefited of transformed my learning. I think that if I had chosen a different learning project I would have been able to move more into the modification and redefinition levels. A goal for my teaching is to stay out of the substitution area with tech in the classroom!
So what I came to realize through teaching myself a new skill through the internet…
Don’t force it. Don’t use technology just for the sake of using technology. If the internet or tech tool you are using doesn’t feel right, try something else. Yes the internet is an incredible learning resource, but it has so suit your learning style to be useful. In watching videos, reading tutorial, and playing matches against the computer, I felt like I was lacking the hands on interaction that helps me learn best. So like I said before, the internet is great but it doesn’t work for everyone’s learning preferences. Sometimes there is no substitute for good old fashioned hands on learning and human interaction. Once I decided to return to playing chess with my boyfriend in real life, I caught on so much quicker. It really helped my learning to physically move the piece and interact with another person.
Which leads me to another nugget of knowledge I’ve obtained:
Don’t be afraid to access people as resources! While I struggled with learning online for weeks, there was a real live person sitting in my house the whole time who could have helped me. Use people as learning tools! I also found it helpful to reach out to other chess players I found on Facebook groups. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that other’s can offer you. I’ll be sure to remember this in my teaching. I’ll keep in mind that often student’s parents and family members could be excellent experts to invite into the class, Nothing wrong with admitting I don’t know everything! I’ll ask for help and invite them into the classroom to share their knowledge.
Although I didn’t end up loving learning through the internet, I definitely used technology to show my progress. I used Snapchat, YouTube video editor and uploader, Screencastify, and so many littler tricks on WordPress. I think I learned more about these resources than I did about playing chess! (Maybe that was Katia’s intention all along..?Sneaky..)
I may not be a chess master, and I may not even really like the game… but I discovered a lot about myself as a learner and developed new skills in using technology!